Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Room for honesty

My former pastor and spiritual mentor perfectly captures some of the issues I've been wrestling with lately (he's writing about the recent death of his friend and co-worker).
Are other religions as honest in their scriptures? I'm not enough of a student of comparative religion to know. But over the past few days, as my own emotions have ranged from grief, to confusion, to anger, to rejoicing and celebrating fond remembrances, to praising God, and back to grief again, I'm asking the question: do other faiths have space for this the way Christianity and Judaism do? Consider Abraham's doubts, Jacob's wrestling with God, Job's faith and anger, Jeremiah's lamentations and despondency, David's Psalms, John the Baptist's question of Jesus: "Are you the One or should we wait for another?". The Bible is full of honest doubt and wrestling. I love that, and find that somehow, I'm more persuaded of the truth of it all precisely because of the honesty of it all. What's more, having been given permission to grieve and wrestle by those who've gone before, I have no problem laying it all out and being honest with God.

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