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The ‘Faith Fingerprint’

In a conversation many years ago, one of my dearest friends told me something that continues to empower me even today: “who is to say my faith is stronger than yours?”

You might say we were engaged in a sort of ‘interfaith’ conversation whereby I was questioning my friend’s decision to embark on the path of Christianity. When I had first met her, a year after graduating from high school, she was a declared denier of Anglicanism–the church of her parents–not to mention all other forms of religion. Eventually, curiosity drew her to re-examine religion, and she subsequently found a place for herself in the United Church. I, however, still had not found a structure to house my robust ‘metaphysical’ inclinations, and continued to assume that what I believed simply could not satisfy or be satisfied by the principles of any organized religion.

The outlook I adopted back then is what appears to characterize many of my twenty/thirty-something peers today: a perception that something transcends the dominant scattered worldly narratives in which we find ourselves (at times haplessly) planted, yet which cannot be adequately explored or expressed through a single established way.

I was reminded of all this the other day after participating in a visualization exercise with a group of friends and colleagues. One of the objectives of the exercise was to help us get in touch with our individual views and feelings around how our group–a community-building solidarity cooperative called Le Milieu–could grow towards greater sustainability. During the visualization, one image that insistently presented itself to me was the fibonacci spiral. The fibonacci numeric sequence that underlies the spiral is rather remarkable in its omnipresence; it is one of the basic building blocks of our visible world.

Later, when I searched online to see what correlations may have been made between this sequence and the belief in/concept of God, I was hardly surprised to find many posts referring to it as ‘God’s fingerprint’. What an arresting image! Nautilus shells, sunflower heads, pine cones, dragonfly wings, Greco-Roman statues, even the ears on our heads: we are irresistibly drawn to and reflected in this subtle yet pervasive ‘fingerprint’.

So despite our fragmentation, a thread, almost imperceptibly, weaves itself through us all. As one online author writes: its beauty is “God’s love song, intended to woo us to Him.” All those years ago, seeking to crack the code of my friend’s decisive faith commitment, I heard that subtle and nearly imperceptible voice ask me to look at the shape of my own faith just as it was–unbutressed by church walls, uninformed by scriptures, unglorified by altar sacrifice–and validate it as worthy alongside all others.

Afra Saskia Tucker

About Afra Saskia Tucker

I am Development Coordinator at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College. Blessed with a multi-cultural family and an inclination to learn about other faith traditions, I have learned from my life experiences here and abroad that encounters with people of different faiths, beliefs, and cultures are in fact essential and enriching to my own faith journey.

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0 Responses to The ‘Faith Fingerprint’

  1. Great article, Afra! Super interesting  I’ll need to think about the ‘seen vs. unseen’ idea a bit before I can make an intelligent comment, but something did sort of jump out at me when I was reading this. In the ‘faith and science’ debate (and I say ‘and’ and not ‘versus’ because I don’t believe two are opposed to each other), the complexity and ‘perfection’ in the natural world is used both as an argument for and against the concept of divine creation. Many creationists will argue that the ‘perfection’ of the natural world can only have been achieved through God’s direct, divine intervention. On the other hand, people who oppose all types of creationism also use the argument, but to the opposite effect. For example, Richard Dawkins (an atheist) wrote a book called ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in which he argues that all the complexity on Earth is the result of fine-tuning through evolutionary processes, therefore that God isn’t required to explain the complexity of the natural world. My own viewpoint is somewhere in the middle, in that I believe 100% in biological evolution, but view it as a miraculous working of God, rather than as a mitigating factor. It’s interesting, as I say.

  2. Afra Saskia Tucker

    Thanks for your thoughts, Emily! Honestly, Dawkins has offered me many opportunities to examine (sometimes violently) and contemplate my faith in fresh new ways. I’ve been meaning to look into his ‘designoid’ theory a bit more. If I have understood it correctly, evolutionary changes occur by a process of natural selection that is non-random yet without purpose, meaning: while changes occur within a species to assist its ability to propagate itself, and over time the patterns that emerge as a result of this process will create the illusion of a ‘design’, in fact there is no ‘seen’ or recordable evidence that points to an original Designer. I’ve heard Dawkins speak about the importance of us (humanity) creating meaning and purpose for ourselves within our one, single life-time.

    When you say that you fall somewhere in the middle, I do wonder if you may consider a perspective of ‘co-creation’ as helping to further our understanding of God’s presence in the midst of this banquet of scientific facts and attitudes?

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