When it comes to the Christian community, I think many times people provide bubbly feel good phrases without ever answering the true questions of our faith. Far too often I hear references of “God’s Plan.” Yet as I work for St. Vincent de Paul, I meet so many human beings experiencing lives of complete despair. So in response to this “God’s plan” business, I find myself compelled to doubt the reality of this.
Recently, I attended the mid-year retreat with the rest of the Vincentian Volunteers of Cincinnati. It provided me a quiet area to reflect on who I am and who I want to be. I began to ask myself, is doubt a part of my being? Is it okay to question the ultimate truth? Far too often my conscience does not allow me to accept something so blindly. I mean it is a “conscience” which means with knowledge or reason. So when I think of “God’s Plan” I am baffled with finding reasons at times. So I sat puzzled for a moment asking myself, why should I trust in a God that is beyond me? Why should I have trust a plan that at times I do not have the knowledge to understand?
This is my answer:
Matthew 27:46 “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This verse is absolutely incredible and gives me chills when I read it. Christ in his humanness doubted himself. The weight of the world made him think perhaps he is lost. I for one can relate to this all too well. For me, it is hard to trust in a God that is beyond me. This was very apparent to the prophets in the Old Testament as well. In response to this, God loved creation so much that he came in the flesh and struggled in solidarity. He provided us a way to live out our faith but also showed how incredibly hard it is. With God taking human form and struggling with doubt too, I can trust in my God. Because through the resurrection we are able to see that there is life past the darkness. We see that doubt is part of our nature and can be defeated.
It is remarkable really. Jesus doubted too! It is a part of who we are. Doubt is not evil. Rather doubt becomes morally neutral. And so it is how we as Christians react to doubt that justifies our faith. Can we push forward in life when doubt arises? This is what I continually am taught at St. Vincent de Paul. The clients suffer so immensely at times and yet they have the courage to look past doubt. I pray that doubt continues to build my faith, not weigh me down. For doubt can allow deeper relationships and new perspectives. And that I think is “God’s Plan.”
Doing Industrial Engineering by day, Luke Greene enjoys delving into theological issues by night, bringing a real depth of conversation to the table at the VVC house. We are grateful for his insights and intentionality.