Thursday, September 3, 2009

Your Faith Life: Personal or Private?

I've found it intriguing to meet people who view faith in many different ways.

I've moved to Washington, D.C. for the semester while I complete an internship with National Public Radio. The other day I visited one of the many Smithsonian museums: The National Portrait Gallery. I was struck by one particular portrait, called "Untitled (Man Praying)" by photographer Jocelyn Lee.

No doubt the man knew he was being photographed. But in a way, the photo made me feel like I was intruding on something private - like I was eavesdropping on a conversation.

It made me ask myself, if someone saw me praying, what would that photo look like? Would I appear vulnerable? Would I look contemplative, or joyful? Is prayer something private or does my faith extend outside my four walls?

I have devout friends who firmly believe their faith is a private matter between God and an individual.

Others are more open about their faith and have no problem discussing the topic with others.

Yet others risk their lives for the sake of their faith; holding to it so firmly that they face death for their beliefs. Rifqa Bary, 17, has gone to court because she says her father threatened to kill her after she converted from Islam to Christianity.

What about you? Do you prefer your faith to be private or are okay "going public"?


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