To me doubt is the term often used to marginalise people who have the integrity to admit that it is impossible to know evrything about anything let alone ‘the other’ that some call God. Some such folk self-identify as agnostic, which does not mean atheist but perhaps the opposite.
There are times in all our lives when we question what is happening and when our faith is challenged and shaken. What happens when we reach the point where it feels as though our faith makes no sense. For many in contemporary society this seems to be the case. Perhaps circumstance leads them to this point. For others there is the sheer illogicality of believing in something intangible, metaphysical. What then? We cannot force belief on someone, it simply doesn’t work. Fred Pratt Green frames the theme like this:
When our confidence is shaken in beliefs we thought secure; when the spirit in its sickness seeks but cannot find a cure: God is active in the tensions of a faith not yet mature. Fred Pratt Green Copyright Stainer & Bell Ltd
In this circumstance faith is incomplete. We do not have the full picture. Arguably, where God is concerned we never can have the full picture, in which case we need to be open to the fact that faith, in Sydney Carter’s words is framed by a creed which is never fixed or final. I raise a question in the following text:
How can we live at one with God, inspired by Christ the living Word, infused with all the Spirit's power when life is twisted and absurd?
[…] to grasp by faith, to act in love, while nothing fixed or final stands.
Put another way:
When life juggles with our learning, with the things we thought secure, then it seems the artist’s palette spins and faith becomes obscure.
In the wash of different colours, as we seek for shape and form, others paint their faith by numbers forcing God to fit some norm.
But when life has torn the canvas, when the numbers twist and slip; then we need to find an image that will help our hope to grip:
holding us, when we're past holding, grounding when we're insecure, till we find a faith, not drifting, still dynamic, free, yet sure.
All the above Andrew Pratt unless otherwise stated, verses copyright Stainer & Bell Ltd.