Psalms for Doubters: And Yet

I knew the answers, the replies,
But no one ever asked the questions.
When they did ask, they were harder,
_______Stuff I was never prepared for:
 _______How can God ignore an abused child’s prayer?

I knew the verses, the chapters, the book
But I never saw the genocide
Until it hit me like a grenade
Bombed my faith, belief, my

I heard God’s voice, felt his spirit,
But all those answered prayers,
And strong emotions
Could be explained away by logic, common sense,
_______Emotional willpower.

And then one day God died.

The joy collapsed, my full heart emptied
I felt love drain from my frozen soul
God’s promises, all broken
Every man be true, but God, a liar.

If anything was real, Hell was.
I dreamed of death, God, make it quick
Our hearts weren’t made to hurt like this,
so close my miserable existence,
in your mercy, give me
_______an end.

I slowly died, and was reborn
A shadow of myself
A heart too cracked to love, too torn
My faith in shreds upon the floor, and God
_______not to be trusted.

God will always do what’s best,
I made myself believe it.
I held on tightly through the hard times,
but whenever things got better,

I’d learned already
how all happy stories end:
God was gonna firebomb my heart

And somehow it would be
for my own good.

I waited long in fear and hesitation
Waited for the other shoe to fall.
But fear destroys your soul as well as heartbreak
It keeps love out, it keeps love

A flower in the concrete
Legends of an empty tomb
Stories of a god who came and died
Strong evidence the legends could not be

What if it’s all a lie?
The words that others hold so tightly
know are true
the words for which my counter-evidence
_______recommends an appeal.

I flex my muscles
Grip the rope
Arm over arm, but
not gaining much, in way of

The wise ones see my progress,
See my aim,
Grab my arms and pull
They want to claim
_______they helped.

I shake my arms free
I pull away, I lose the rope
I can’t go back to self-deception
If their path is real, it needs

I can’t prove my faith with math,
strict logic that cannot be undone,
Evidence that demands a verdict,
_______and yet —

And yet.

– – –

I was driving home late one night and got to thinking that there aren’t a whole lot of songs on Christian radio that speak to people who aren’t certain of everything, and I got this idea to write some Psalms for us. I didn’t really follow standard Psalm format, but I thought, we need poetry that helps us see that we’re not alone in our questions.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I can fix this,” you’re the reason I was nervous about publishing this in the first place.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “I thought I was the only one who felt that way,” this is for you.

About David M. Schell






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