That doesn't mean our faith can't be challenged or even be severely shaken. It can be indeed. I guess the thing that challenges and shakes my faith more than anything else is the injustice rampant in the world. As I write this blog on a Mac Book Pro, I am surrounded by comfort and convenience. It is hot in Houston but air conditioning keeps me comfortable. It's just the two of us, but we live in a large four bedroom home in a nice neighborhood with quiet streets, well kept lawns and lots of trees. Food is abundant for us. We have access to every material thing we need or want.
At the beginning of June, my good friend Bill passed away. Bill was a good man who had been through a great deal of tragedy in his life. But he never let it get him down for long. He made the most of what he had; and in spite of all the tragedy, he became a very wealthy man and shared that wealth with a great number of people who were not as fortunate as he. Yet, he died all to young while some that have contributed nothing to anyone in all their long lives continue to draw breath. Where is the justice in that?
Last Thursday, the 24 year old daughter of a friend of mine lost her battle with colon cancer. She died before she ever really had a chance to live. Yet, not more than five miles from where she lived, a woman in her 80's who can no longer contribute anything to anyone, who can neither sit nor stand and who can not speak or comprehend continues to live draining the energy of her son who is caring for her the best he can. Where is justice in all this? Where is God?
I first asked these questions in 1969 when my mother died of cancer at age 48. Up until six months before her death she had been contributing greatly to society as a teacher of young children and a mother to her family. She never lost faith in God. She accepted her plight as God's will. I never could bring myself to be quite as stoic.
Later in 1969 my 23 year old cousin died in Viet Nam. He was a great kid with a new wife. He had much to give to this country other than his life. But thousands who had and never would have anything to give to anyone continued to live as we buried my cousin. Where is the justice in that? Where is God?
It has been said that the good die young. It seems there is truth in that saying and every time I see it in someone close to me, my faith is shaken.
The Bible tell us that God transcends us in every way. It tells us that His way are not our ways. That is certainly easy to see. As human beings, the best of us often seem to have more compassion for others than does God who is said to be infinite in Grace. To observe that shakes my faith.
If there is a just and loving God, infinite in Love and Grace, I look forward to His bringing me to the point of understanding all the things in life that defy understanding.
As shaken as my faith is at this moment, I simply cannot believe that the beauty of the earth, not to mention the universe is an accident, the product of a scientific anomaly. All that is good in our lives, and there is good in even the most meager lives, has to spring from something bigger than ourselves. Faith is the belief in things unseen. In the end, I choose to cling to faith.