Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Poem about Searching for Answers in the Midst of Doubt

The poem below was written several years ago, when I was going through a period of wrestling with some intellectual doubts about the veracity of the Christian faith. I haven't shared it publicly until now because there tends to be a stigma against any expression of doubt in evangelical Christian experience. I think that stigma is shameful and misplaced: looking back now, I can see that God was working in and through my doubts to shake me out of some of the narrow limitations of my earlier preconceptions, and guide me toward a deeper, richer, and more ancient faith. So, although I'm no longer walking "in vales of uncertainty," I offer this poem as an encouragement toward perseverance to any who find themselves on a similar journey.


In vales of uncertainty
I dare not tread, but must,
And ne’er forget I am a shell
Of oxygen and dust.

I watch my friends, who never face
The specter of a doubt,
Whose lives are confidence on fire:
Ablaze within, without.

I see the faith that fuels each step,
That underspeaks each smile;
How blessed and how simple, yes,
The unencumbered mile!

Yet miles I walk, not one, not two,
And under burdens fierce—
Long leagues of twilight and of stars
While broken, wounded, pierced.

Yes, I will scour the universe
Until I reach my goal:
To find the Truth beyond all truths,
And drink it down all whole;

I am no master of this quest;
A wounded seeker, I;
But I press on, unflagging now,
Into the endless light.

When finally I stand alone
Before the throne of truth,
I will embrace it from my knees,
Amazed and deeply moved.

I did not want this toilsome road,
But walk it, yes, I must,
Rememb’ring that I am a shell
Of oxygen and dust.