Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Faith is a powerful thing. For those who believe. To them, faith provides enormous amounts of comfort even in the most dire circumstances. I do not have (much) faith. Nevertheless, it holds power over me because it is such a mystery.

I grew up attending private Jewish schools. Though my parents were never particularly religious, they believe in God, and it was important to them to instill a sense of Jewish identity in their children.

For a time, I had faith. Then things changed. I grew up and learned about the state of the world, and I saw powerful examples of suffering right in my own family.

My grandmother spent 30 years as a prisoner of a broken body. For a long time, she led a mostly joyless life.  When my sister was young, she barely escaped alive from her abusive ex to become a struggling single mother of two kids. Just when she'd finally gotten on her feet, many years later, a reckless driver hit her car. For over three years now, she's been in constant pain and is barely able to walk as a result of that accident.

My grandmother believed in God. My sister still does. So does the woman in my office whose thirty-something year old son who just died of cancer.

I cannot wrap my mind around how these people--and so many others--believe in God's love and kindness in the face of such awful hardships. Perhaps I should admire them for their convictions and humility, but, for now at least, I am simply mystified.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. For me, the skepticism pertaining to religion doesn't have to do so much with whether I believe in God or not, but rather the qualms I have about the "man-manufactured-deity" that most religious people believe in nowadays. In other words: corruption, a means for social order/ control, the nonsense and lengths people go to please their own concept of what God is. Without going much more into depth, I think you know exactly what I'm referring to here.