At first I thought that perhaps I had been so focused on rejecting anything even remotely resembling dogma or doctrine in my life for so long that I had cast aside faith at the same time. But then I realized that wasn't quite so. That irregardless of dogma or doctrine, I have no faith. None.
That wasn't always so. As a pre-teen, likely into my early teen years, I had a very strong faith. A very strong belief in and love of God; a deep, sure knowledge of what He wanted from me and an absolute desire to live my life that way. And, in return, I knew the final result. I knew that He promised would come to pass. Wasn't life simple then?
But that was before I drifted away from the Witnesses. Away from the Witnesses, but towards nothing else, I guess.
Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I believe that He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for our sins. Yes, I believe the Bible is God's word. The problem is that it all seems to end there. That although I do, honestly, *believe* all that, it seems to have no connection to my life. That what I know with certainly in my "head" does not resonate in my "heart".
Okay, it may not be quite that simple, not quite that cut and dried, but it's close enough for the purposes of this post.
As a child, I was taught that "Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for". And yet, over the course of the last several years, I have come to believe that hope is bad for the soul.
Born out of the Blue Jay's health issues, I learned that when you actually begin to hope for something, you truly begin to believe that it might just be true. And then, when you find out otherwise, it's devastating. But if you have no hope, if you expect nothing, anything good that comes your way is gravy. A blessing. Something to be treasured and appreciated. All up the up, none of the down.
When Mom was so sick in the hospital last year, I struggled with the concept of "hope". Or, more accurately, with the idea that there could be some form of good, some form of hope, to be found in the situation. That there was even any point, any value, in looking for any.
I recall reading one of the books the palliative care team provided me, entitled "Finding Hope" and mulling over a blog post on the subject. The book that promised to help me find and nurture hope in my life came up short.
But to cut to the chase (a little too late for that, I suppose), the bottom line is that I have no faith that I will ever see my Mom again. It's not just that I don't believe I will ever see her again. It's that I believe I will never see her again.
And that ... that just hurts. Indescribably so.
In a few weeks, we will take a trip out West to visit my brother, do some traveling and then, finally, bury my Mom's ashes next to Dad. And as that time draws closer, I am left with a renewed sense of overwhelming longing and loss.
This, my friends, is not closure. It's agony, pure and simple.
It's life without