Doubting Faith

Rural Eastern Cape, South Africa (Transkei)

I doubt a lot. Sometimes I feel that instead of having faith and some doubts, I have doubt and some faith.

But, I am aware of a deep desire within me to know God. Something inside knows I cannot be satisfied by anything in this world.

As I write this, I am sitting next to a rural home in the Transkei, looking out at green hills that rise and fall into the ocean. A sheep bleats and a strong offshore wind rattles a piece of corrugated metal lying against a chicken wire fence. The thought comes to mind that I cannot force faith. Faith is a gentle surrender to God’s presence within me and all around me.

Christianity is not about proselytizing moral values, nor is it about intellectual pursuit. It is not about being good and it certainly is not about being guilty or feeling ashamed. For me, the starting point of Christianity is the crazy idea that God, the God who created everything from the cosmos to the smallest particle, chose to become a man; Fully man. Not a superman but a flesh and blood human being with likes and dislikes, friends and family, hopes and ideas about what his life should be. Yet, he was also fully God. This is the mystery of Christianity.

Jesus’ life convicts me to be more, to do more for the outcasts of society. He himself was an outcast. It brings me comfort to know that he comes into my life as it is. He doesn’t ask me to move aside my mess, he comes into the mess. He is the friend who sits with you quietly as you weep; he the friend who knows that words aren’t always necessary; he is the friend who thinks you’re great as you are.

The last few days in this rural village have been peaceful and restful. At night, the stars gently astound. And in my doubts and in my faith I become aware of these moments when nothing else can explain this small life form, self-aware, marveling at creation. In a vast universe, my insignificance makes me realise how incredible my existence actually is. Life is too beautiful to be accidental.

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