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 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
pulsing through the universe
and our frail human lives
like waves across the ocean
when all I can see is
things more easily explained
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
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?
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
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
I am a doubter and a believer. I have a Master's in Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, but because faith grows and changes, I don't necessarily stand by everything I've ever written, so if you see something troubling further back, please ask! Read More.
One thought on “Psalms for Doubters – Belief in the Absence of God”
This captures it so perfectly. Thank you for this.