Doubt and Faith
“The only thing I know to come back to is love God, love my neighbor, and love myself. Everything else I am just not sure about right now.” That was the first time I doubted. I made that declaration in my Christian Theology first year undergraduate class. It was not meant to be provocative, but you can bet my colleagues moved their chairs a little farther away from me to separate themselves as true believers from my audacious doubts. I had marked myself as a doubter and they were scared that my doubts would poison their strong convictions. I didn’t know what I thought about the details of Jesus, but I knew his way was the way I wanted to follow and somehow I trusted that God would be big enough to hold my questions as we walked together.
Jesus is not scared of our doubts. When Mary and the disciples had seen the resurrected Jesus, Thomas just couldn’t believe it. It was too radical and too wild to believe. He told his friends “Unless I see the wounds of Jesus myself, I will not believe.” I get Thomas. If someone tells me something I usually need to see it for myself. What does Jesus do when Thomas makes this statement? He appears to him and offers his body and welcomes him to touch him. Jesus moves toward the doubts of Thomas and meets him right where he is. Thomas, so moved by Jesus then makes the profession of faith “My Lord and My God!” Doubting Thomas is really Faithful Thomas!
Our doubts lead us to a greater faith. It is the work of the spiritual soul to wrestle with our doubts and not to ignore them. We, like Thomas, curiously explore and find that Jesus is right there with us never leaving us and never forsaking us. God is big enough to hold all our questions. Questions take great faith for they lead us to refined beliefs.