The Bliss Blog


Had an interesting conversation with a young woman sitting next to me at one of my favorite healthy restaurants called Always Cafe.  It is where I go to take a breather from seeing clients in my therapy practice. It feeds the body, mind, and spirit of this crunchy granola hippie child, so I can return rejuvenated. On this day, the joint was jumping so I pulled up a stool at the counter facing the front window. A curly haired, hat wearing, bespectacled 20-something perched one over after asking if she could sit there. She had a book with her, the title of which I could discern, but had a  card/bookmark that appeared to have an angel on it.

She asked what I was eating and I told her that it was squash soup and a falafel wrap (strange combo, I know.) and she told me what she had ordered..something with beans instead of meat since it was Lent. She went on to share that she was Catholic and liked the Latin Mass and attended church daily and prayed the rosary throughout the day. She asked if I was Catholic and when I told her that I was raised Jewish and in 1999 was ordained as an Interfaith Minister. I explained that for me, it meant embracing a variety of practices. As I write about it now, it mirrors the idea of the food fusion I mentioned above. She inquired if I have a congregation and I informed her that I officiate at ceremonies and don’t want the politics of my own congregation. I take it on the road instead. Portable prayer. Have faith, will travel.

She asked what I practice and I said that I volunteer for various organizations and speak to strangers and hug them. I asked how she puts her faith into action. She looked at me like I had two heads. She responded that she wasn’t very good at that part. She works at a school as a cafeteria lunch lady and I encouraged her to speak to the children kindly and to smile at them and that would make a difference. She could treat people like Jesus did. She responded, “Oh, ok,” as if she was processing the possibilities. I said goodbye to her before I headed back to my office and gave her a heart sticker that I had in my pocket from Valentine’s Day when I did a Free Hugs stroll in Doylestown, PA. I thought about offering her a hug but had a feeling she would not be comfortable with that level of connection.

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”-James 2

How do you put faith into practice?

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