Amy has doubts about being a Christian.
|Word Count 1066
Amy was home for the weekend. After hugs and joyful greetings from her parents and younger siblings, she sat at the table with Mama and Papa catching up on all the news since her last visit.
“After church Sunday we'll go visit Grammy at the Seniors Home,” Mama said.
“I'd love to visit Grammy, Mama, but I don't go to church anymore.”
Papa raised his eyebrows and risked a quick peek at his wife.
“You don't go to church anymore?” Mama asked. “Why have you left the church, Amy?”
“I have classes all week, Mama, and a part-time job. On my free weekends, I like to relax.”
Amy glanced around the farmhouse kitchen, her eyes resting on the framed wall hanging of The Last Supper Grammy had laboured over, crocheting love into each stitch.
“I don't understand, Amy, are you saying you don't need God in your life?”
“We may as well get this out of the way right now,” Amy replied. “I have lost my faith, Mama, I don't believe in God.”
The colour drained from Mama's face. “We brought you up in a Christian home, you went to Sunday school, Bible camp, and never missed a week of church. What happened? How could you just forget all that?”
“You also sent me to school, Mama. One of the first things we learned was dinosaurs lived millions of years before humans, but the Bible says the Earth was created in six days and man was created during that time. How could that be?”
“Well, what do you believe?” Mama asked.
“You know that television show, The Big Bang Theory? Well, it's like that. The universe wasn't always here it came from a big bang. Slowly evolution created bacteria, fish, amphibians, mammals, and people. It didn't happen in six days, Mama, How could it?”
Papa cleared his throat, “ Amy, do you remember the Bible passage, With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years from 2 Peter 3: 8?
“Yes, Papa, I know the Bible. I've read it, done Bible studies, and listened to the minister read every Sunday. I know of all the miracles and I know they're scientifically impossible. Come on, Papa, how could Noah fit all those animals in an ark? How could Jesus walk on water or turn water into wine? How could he raise Lazarus from the dead? “
Papa shook his head. “You have to have a bit of faith, Amy”
When Mama smiled her face lit up, a glow radiating from inside shone through, and she looked at her daughter with the confidence of her faith.
“You're still young, Amy, it's normal to have doubts and questions at your age. I had doubts too, but I soon came to accept Jesus as my Savior. Once you do that the rest will fall into place naturally.”
“What kind of a father allows his son to die a horrible death on a cross, Mama?” If God exists how can He allow innocent children to starve and die? How can He let good people suffer long battles with illnesses like cancer? If He loves us how can He let these things happen?”
Saturday, the sun rose in a blue sky without a cloud to mar its beauty. The family gathered around the kitchen table to enjoy eggs, bacon, and fresh bread. Plans were made for a day spent in nature. Amy busied herself helping Mama prepare a picnic lunch and packed it in a big basket.
She peeked out the window at her two younger sisters, Beth and Cindy, shooting baskets out in the yard. So young and innocent, all they knew was the farm, school, and the church community. Amy sighed. She had to be careful not to influence them with her atheist lifestyle.
The girls would think it odd if she didn't go to church tomorrow. Her eyes drawn once again to The Last Supper that Grammy worked on so patiently, Amy decided she would get up early tomorrow and go to church with the family.
They trooped down to the river, Beth and Cindy swinging the picnic basket between them and found the perfect place to set up under two large maple trees. Relaxing under the trees, Amy felt the cool breeze against her skin as she gazed at the multitude and variety of wildflowers swaying gently in the field. The birds chirped, the leaves rustled, and she heard her sisters splashing in the river.
The beauty of nature was all around her. A thought popped into her head. Was it really due to a big bang or did God create this beautiful world? Was it possible? Were Mama and Papa right? Amy had so many questions. She glanced over at her parents sitting together, enjoying the simple pleasures of the day.
“Mama, Papa,” Amy said quietly, “I've decided to go to church tomorrow morning.” Her parents smiled lovingly at her. Papa reached over, took her hand and gave it a squeeze. Mama gave her a warm hug. Amy was amazed at the reaction her simple statement had made.
Amy and her family filed into the rustic little country church and seated themselves in the family pew. The organist began to play and Amy let her eyes roam. The sun shining through the stained glass windows, fragrant bouquets flowers, and the communion table covered with a pristine, white lace tablecloth highlighted the large wooden cross hanging behind the altar.
Amy felt a lump in her throat as she listened to the old familiar hymns, the Bible readings, and the sermon. The creed and prayers came naturally to her lips as if she hadn't attended for so long. As she repeated the 23rd. Psalm Amy felt herself fill with peace. She felt whole, like a lonely, empty, void inside was filled with love and contentment. It was a good feeling. All her doubts melted away, and Amy knew God was with her.
When the minister invited the congregation to partake in Holy Communion, Amy rose and joined the line walking slowly toward the Communion table. Tears filled Mama's eyes as she fell in step behind Amy.
Amy accepted the bread and wine representing the body and blood of Christ. The minister said, “May the peace of Christ be with you.” Amy replied, “And also with you.” She knew she was home. God was with her, and she'd never doubt again.