Monday, August 31, 2009


There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs when a person (not unlike myself) becomes quite convinced of the existence of God and beyond that of His intimate presence within us, and it was brought home to me last night in a most penetrating manner. I suspect that the title of this post gives away a clue as to what I'm speaking of.

Doubt. It's a real bugger and as I'm finding out it never goes away, it just changes in nature.

There has always been doubt for me when speaking of God. As I have indicated in previous posts to this point it has generally been the same kind of doubt that most people have which is to say 'is He here?'. Normal, everyday, regular and understandable doubt. The kind that reflects the notion of "I can't see Him and therefore I have my doubts that He's really here". Fair enough.

But that changes or rather evolves. You see I can no more ask that question since I am actually quite sure now that He's here. But it hit me big time last night that now it is a whole new experience of doubt.

I was watching a movie called The Pianist. For those who have never seen it, it is a movie about (drum-roll please) a pianist named Wladyslaw Szpilman (oy!) who experienced first-hand (it is autobiographical) what it was like to live in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Funny thing about movies depicting the Holocaust, or any other form of man's inhumanity to man for that matter, you don't need to see the actual cruelty, the blood and gore, that defines these events. It is enough, and sometimes even more powerful to merely depict the everyday life, the 'normal' existence of the people caught up in it. And I think it is exactly because of that which is going unspoken. We don't need to have it play out right in front of our eyes to know the magnitude of it all and for it to make us squirm in our discomfort.

And this doubt that occurs is not a doubt that questions God's existence, it is a doubt that asks "how could you?" (let this happen). It asks "where were you?" (while this was happening), and "why did you?" (let this happen).

It is a doubt that questions the very goodness of God, the lovingkindness of God of which is so often spoken in our religious texts, the intimate, loving presence of Him in every moment of our lives.

And it makes me realize that I was far more comfortable with the other kind of doubt, you know the one which asks if He's really here because it's easier to get through the day with that kind of doubt.

And I'm left with this nagging feeling that I never had back in those good old days of regular old doubt. And the nagging feeling is that while I am asking Him those questions He is looking right back at me and asking 'how could YOU' let this happen and 'where were YOU' when this was happening and 'why did YOU' let this happen?


  1. The doubt that you express is all to common. Religions have painted a very confused picture of what/who God is. We stand in wonder at the beauty that we experience in this world and know there is a God, then we see the worst of things and we ask if there is a God how could this come to be.
    The answer lies in the fact that God created all and all even that which turns our stomach has purpose and all is within plan. God does not measure good and bad, saintly and evil like we do. God is unconditional love. Look in your own eyes for that is where you will find God. We are of God and God is of us and it is us who creates all which we label as the good the bad and the ugly. The doubt you have is born of what you have been programmed to believe about God. It is our ego that creates distance and doubt, it is our love that is God.

  2. These things that you say are quite possibly true, however it is the process of coming to an understanding of what they mean, both to us personally and to the world at large that defines the life journey.
    I hear it said repeatedly that there are things that we simply cannot understand and I do not doubt that this is true. However it is my experience that if we continue to look hard and ponder seriously that more often than not answers do come. We are too quick to give up the effort to find answers to the supposedly unanswerable questions.

  3. I think that sometimes allowing "really bad" things to happen is the most loving thing God can do. Bad things happen to good people for good reasons. Growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home was hell at the time but it has given me insight, wisdom and compassion that I would have lacked without that experience.

  4. Oh, absolutely and no question that it is the bad things, the hard things that happen that give us insight, wisdom and compassion.
    Funny thing though, despite the insight, wisdom and compassion that I now know I have that I didn't have before I cannot look back and honestly say that I'm glad they all happened. Some things were plain hell and I can unequivocally say I hope never to have to endure that again, wisdom, insight and compassion be damned.

  5. Oh, I love this. It's an every day thing, too. What are we doing about man's inhumanity to man. Just about zip is what.

  6. Sadly yes. Thanks for visiting Therapydoc. I am a regular at your blog.