I spent some time with our rabbits the other day. I have learned that rabbits are very different from cats and dogs. It is difficult to tame a rabbit. They do not like to be held. There are exceptions of course, but our rabbits are not exceptions. If I want my rabbits to be my friends, I have to let them come to me in their own time. So, I was sitting, quiet and still, and letting the rabbits climb about. I found myself marveling at them. It is not a surprise to me that I find rabbits miraculous. Each animal species that has entered my life for long has left me stunned by their uniquely awe inspiring natures. As a young person, I took beef as a 4-H project and as I groomed my cattle for the shows I was awestruck by the solidity and mass of the leg bone of a steer, stunned by the velvety softness of their freshly clipped brow, charmed by the size and roughness of their tongues. I also took swine as a 4-H project. I was awe struck again by the strength of the snout of a pig, the whimsical curl of their tails, the mass of their hind-ends. I could express similar praises for horses, goats, dogs, cats, deer, turkeys...the list goes on. Now, I add rabbits. The softness of our mini-rex rabbits has got to be what heaven feels like tactilely. The strength and occasional ferocity of one of our angora’s belies the stereotypical timidity and fragility of a rabbit. I am continually learning more miraculous depth to God’s creation.
With all this miraculous wonder around me you would think my faith in the Creator would be strong and steadfast. Instead I find myself wondering: what if all this beauty and wonder is not the outpouring of a loving creator but rather a glorious goodbye? What if this is the universe’s way of consoling us as we head into nothingness? What if there is no God?
This is not to say that I have no faith or that I am experiencing a faith crisis. Rather this is to admit with brutal honesty that my faith dances on the edge of the abyss. It ebbs and flows like anyone’s but even when it runs deep it often anchors me in a place that feels less like a safe cradle of love and more like peering into the darkness filled with gratitude for the one who is light.
I don’t think I am alone in this. I think many people of faith wrestle with dark and deep questions. I suspect that many more have flashes and moments when doubt creeps in late at night and the stomach plunges and the mouth goes dry and the thought stampedes past “What if...?”
So, I come clean and admit the depth and terrors of my doubt because we seldom address such things even in the church, the very place where such things should be addressed. How often do we even mention the question, “How do we know there is a God at all?” Or perhaps even better yet: how often do we consider the question, “What if we are wrong?” Perhaps it is time we did lest it appear as though we have nothing to say to such questions.
I wonder if there are others who occasionally sit in the pews thinking "What Would Jesus Do" is really irrelevant if there is no God. I wonder if there are others who sometimes think we are ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room. Are there times when such questions ramble about in your mind? What eases your mind at such times?