So much of Christmas and other faith-based holidays, at their conclusion, fall to our wonderment; “What do unbelievers think of all this?” It is not a “bah humbug” sense that I detect, but rather often “I’ll play the game, but I wish that I “got it” like you do. So much of it does not seem reason-able.”
It might likewise be utterly cute to him to observe a three-year-old saying grace at the family table with a prayer of his own invention. He might say; “That’s just it! It takes a child to spout this stuff. Wait ’til he starts to wrestle with the truth of it!”
Ah, sooo true. It does and we are.
Underneath, there may well be a longing for the joy and simplicity that faith brings. He can feel it in the air; the same air that he is breathing. But, it is sterilized by his reasoning process. He fails to see the light of it, and stumbles into the dark alleys of doubt and disbelief. Below is an excerpt from a most expressive writing dealing with the plight of the agnostic. Webster refers to him as: “One who disclaims any knowlege of God or anything but material phenomena.. He does not ‘know” God. Contrastingly the atheist strongly believes in active non-belief rather than passive “not knowing”. In this, I believe the agnostic has a more difficult quandry to resolve.
Julia Cameron, referred to as “Americas finest lyrical poet”, and first woman winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry writes ( an excerpt from “The Agnostic”);
“The tired agnostic longs for prayer more than the blest can ever do;
Between the chinks in his despair, from the forest he peeps through upon a clearing sunned so bright, he cups his eyeballs from it’s light
He for himself who would decide what thing is black, what thing is white, whirls with the whirling spectrum wide, Runs with the running spectrum through; Red, Orange, Yellow Green and Blue…….
And Purple – turns and stays his stride, to catch all colors into light; but light evades him, still he stands with rainbows streaming through his hands.
Further……… “”Yet worships still the ardent sod, for every ripped and ribboned hue, for warmth of sun and breath of air, and beauty met with everywhere; not knowing why, not knowing who, pumps out his breath and sucks it in, not unto whom his praise is due.”
That image of actually “catchng a rainbow ” and allowing it to slip through his fingers is so descriptive of the loss so illusive to him; yet delivered to him in everything that he observes in this world. Just for the grasping of it , and the closing of his fingers around it.
We all, including the unbeliever, believe in rainbows. The believer recognizes it’s true origin as a gift from God; therefore must be held tightly.
My prayer would be that he would grasp that concept, and, That reason is not the means by which we come to know God. It begins with child-like belief.