Saturday, June 25, 2005

Doubt

Psalm 13
Journal entry dated March 5, 2005

"How long must I bear this doubt in my heart?"

The doubt of which the psalmist speaks is predicated upon external circumstances, upon the apparent triumph of the wicked. And on some level, we must admit that this doubt is a natural result of looking long and hard at the world as it truly is. When we see the wicked prevailing, the powerful preying upon the weak, the rich exploiting the poor, hunger, misery, enmity, death--then doubt becomes a way of struggling for faith.

Those who never seem to doubt, those who never question, either refuse to look closely at the world, or else have aligned their interests so closely with it that they see nothing which is capable of producing doubt. In a world of injustice, doubt may be the only way of keeping faith, while those who never doubt may have more in common with those who say "there is no God" than anyone else, since both remain untroubled and undisturbed in a world of intolerable and inexplicable cruelty. Doubt may almost be said to be an expression of hope, or at least of waiting, holding out, not for better explanations, but for a better world, waiting in the hope that doubt, too, has an end.

Lest this degenerate into a kind of smug "liberal chic," the question must be asked, "What am I doing to contribute to the creation of a better world?"

1 comment:

Johanna said...

"they see nothing which is capable of producing doubt"

I've been rolling this over in my mind this last month, as my cat, Bear has been quietly dying of cancer. Believing is a wiggly thing for me...it flickers...I vacillate between hoping that any belief I have could be true, tremulously feeling that it can be, & outright doubt. It seems to me that these are the exact conditions neccessary for producing responsible action of any sort...if it's all ironed out & there is no doubt, then I can be complacent...but if all these other ingredients are part of the psycho-spiritual stew, if it remains a mystery & not all clearly defined, then I MUST use my effort to wrestle with it, over & over again.

Thanks for giving my weed of constant doubting a small shred of dignity, if not neccessity.