by Cardynal Syn
Christianity, Agnosticism, and the Boston Marathon tragedy
|I walk a precarious balance between Christianity and agnosticism, between faith and doubt, between belief and skepticism. There are days when I become cynical, certain that the God of the Bible is just the figment of someone’s imagination, perpetuated by those lacking the courage to face the truth before them. Other days my faith is strong, and I know God walks with me, loving me as his own child, encouraging me, delighting in me.
The logical side of me says that if really had faith, if I had ever met God, if I had truly known what it was to be “saved”, I would never doubt. This is what so many Christians believe as well. I am not alone in having been taught that “being saved” means never having any doubt that God is real and with us every moment of every day.
But I reject this ultimatum. I refuse to believe that either I believe perfectly or I’m a lost sinner. I believe that this issue of doubt that I describe is more common than most Christians are willing to admit. Perhaps I am courageous in speaking my truth. Perhaps I’m just a fool. I don’t know.
Mother Teresa wrote in her diary many times of her struggles with faith. It was a recurring issue for her, a holy nun of blessed memory, surely destined to become a saint. Thomas the Apostle had his famous moment of doubt, refusing to believe that Jesus was resurrected unless he saw proof with his own eyes. Rather than condemning Thomas for his lack of faith, Jesus gave him what he needed to believe.
On my more spiritually-inclined days, I believe there is a spark of divinity within all people. Good, bad, old, young, Atheist, Christian, Pagan, Muslim, Jewish, law-abiding, criminal, everyone, all possessing within their deepest selves a sliver of Sovereign God. When I read of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and the response of the people there, I witnessed those sparks igniting. People welcomed total strangers with open arms. They invited grieving, panic-stricken outsiders into their homes as though they were family. When they were hungry, they were fed. When they were homeless, they were sheltered. When they were grieving, they were comforted. Little slivers of God, tiny sparks of divinity, building into a roaring crescendo of humanity. God working through human hands.
When I view the outpouring of love from the people of Boston, my faith in God is renewed. It is, for me, enough.