I enjoy posting about faith and life on Facebook and sometimes interesting conversations can arise from posts that myself and others share. The other evening I posted some of my thoughts on Facebook in relation to why I believe- I suppose it was my attempt at Christian apologetics- the ancient practice of defending faith in a culture which seems to be ever-increasingly confused about what the Christian faith is all about. Proper apologetics uses historical, reasoned and evidential bases to defend against objections towards Christianity. These are all good and well but for myself most of my faith hinges upon ‘how I feel.’ Does my faith in Christ move me deep within, does it inspire me with hope, does it niggle away at my conscience, does it help me see people as bearing God’s image, does it give me direction when the path ahead is unclear?
I want to share with you my Facebook post from the other evening. It’s a conversation I had with God, a kind of prayer, and it helped consolidate my faith in the Easter promise of resurrection. It also facilitated a helpful discussion on Facebook where others shared their own experiences and opinions.
‘Lord, I can see where people come from who believe that this life is all that there is- and I know that at times this life can seem a bit like a living hell and there is a valid argument in relation to if there really is a God then why is there all this suffering? But the alternative for me is so stark and empty and utterly hopeless- just nothingness- a fond memory in someone’s heart- I suppose for some that may be a comfort- but for me that just leaves me totally cold.
What about the funerals I have conducted over the years when no one appears? What about those who literally have no one? I just can’t bring myself to believe that the best that we can hope for is to live on in someone’s memory. Faith reassures us that each new-born baby is a reflection of the divine, every unwanted and poverty stricken child is precious to God, each person trafficked and violated for sexual gratification bears God’s image, each person who is disabled, chronically ill, or suffering from dementia is a unique reflection of God. Each person who dies alone is extravagantly loved, needed, valued and held eternally safe in the arms of God.
I just can’t bring myself to believe that we are just dust- no matter how much at times that may make absolute sense.
Yes- I guess that at the end of the day we are just dust- but it’s what kind of dust we are that makes the difference. If we are just dust then to me that is simply hopeless…but if we are divine dust made in love by a Creator, then that gives me hope…..’