7.14.15 by Amanda Wenisch
Squash blossoms open into five-point stars
And wave in a constellation from the garden, promising fruit soon.
Today, New Horizons showed us Pluto after soaring through space for nine years.
It shakes loose in me some doubt of God.
How can in this vastness anything be sure?
How can anything see me, know me, love me, save me?
The breeze pushes through the squash stars, and they dance.
Then too I see the shaking marigolds, yellow dwarfs casting light in the gloomy rain.
I hear the Psalmist sing from them:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
I wrote that poem five years ago. Back then I still fretted some over my doubt, but these days I embrace it. When I start to feel the ground shake under me, I’ve accepted that God is big enough and loving enough to handle my fear and doubts. When I go full-doubt, all squinting and cynical, He does not throw at me wrath or shame. He follows me there.
The world, even the parts of it that profess to be Christian, is a terrible proving ground of God’s character. Because it’s what we see and hear and feel and taste, we can be easily duped into thinking the way our world reacts is how God is – full of retribution and war and violence and disease and backward justice. Pshaw.
Psalm 139 is how God is. And there, at the end, as God has followed the Psalmist to every height and depth, he does not condemn for anxious thoughts or offensive ways — he leads the Psalmist from that place.
Jesus is how God is. Jesus saw doubt and gave to the doubter what he needed. Jesus knows what it feels like to ask where are you? Jesus explained to the Father that we just don’t know.
I don’t run from my questions. I don’t tremble in my doubt. I let it be. I invite God into it. Surely, this too, must delight him because it means I’m still working — still accepting that, as Paul said, I only know in part. I’m still clawing at the truth of him. There’s still mystery to explore. There’s still love to give. There’s still feet to wash. There’s still room at the table. There’s still more of my life to lay down.
Yo, an earlier version of this had a huge mistake in it. I hope no one saw it. Whoops.