Psalms for Doubters – Belief in the Absence of God

Most times my doubt is stronger than my faith
So often my doubt feels more like confidence
–confidence my faith
is in a God
who isn’t there after all.

I affirm the creeds
the virgin birth,
the resurrection
the ascent into heaven
and every now and again…

I believe in them, too.


It can get lonesome here on the raggedy edge
that line between faith and doubt
surrounded by beautiful people
who hear the voice of a God
I’m not convinced is there
who see divine appointments
God’s plan
God’s will
pulsing through the universe
and our frail human lives
like waves across the ocean

when all I can see is
things more easily explained
by science
history
sociology
psychology

I have a logical explanation for every miracle
every spiritual experience
every mysterious unknown
for everything, a file in my brain
marked “a perfectly logical explanation.”

And God knows I need them
if He’s there to know it.
Or at least that I feel like
I’ve got good reason to keep them around
just in case the evidence that God is awful
becomes a little too convincing.

But God, I so want to believe.
If I could just be sure the evil God
would stay away forever
Sure a clever debater could not bring him back

But there are so many good reasons to doubt
Like evil
and the improbability of Miracles –
–Which Slate has improbably taken up!
Evolution explains human origins quite nicely.

In the end, there’s no substantial solid finalized proof
The so-called evidence
is sloppy. Prophecies? What a stretch. Have you read them?
Apologetics
is only good for convincing the convinced.
I don’t touch the stuff anymore
I fear it’d make me an atheist
faster than Dawkins would.

What if you breathe your last
and that’s how your story ends?
What if Jesus was executed
and the resurrection fabricated?
What if ultimate meaning is something we make for ourselves?
What if there’s no final justice coming
no recompense for the wicked?

And police gun down black people
and women lose their rights
and my country bombs other countries
–all the while calling them terrorists
population booms and heat rises
beyond sustainability
and we mull over the ache
of a possibly-godless universe
and we’re starved for hope before we sleep.

Thoughtlessly I roll over
reach into a drawer
turn pages, looking for words of hope for my despair
in the Book of Common Prayer.


I wonder if maybe I do believe after all.

Even when I don’t.

David M Schell About David M Schell
David M. Schell is a doubter, a believer, and a skeptic. He writes about God and stuff. He is happily married to Kristen, and that's why his posts don't come out as often or as angry.

  • Elizabeth

    This captures it so perfectly. Thank you for this.