Home. (What deserves to be retold.)
It was hard to leave a grieving campus and yet I was eager to. The reminders of sorrow—the senselessness of it all—the garish contrast between that beautiful spring afternoon and the chancellor’s words, “Eve Carson has been murdered”—all of it was too much, in pieces, in moments. While he spoke, I cried quickly and selfishly—because of injustice, because of a promising life cut short, because nothing can prevent this same thing from happening again. I was thankful for Catherine’s arms wrapped around my waist.
Another day, another chip off my trust in God. But how do you prevent evil—life—circumstances—from eroding faith? If I was isolated from the rest of the world and lived in a tower, perhaps, my faith would be very strong; nothing would touch it; no horrible events could ever shake it because I wouldn’t know about any horrible events. They say that adversity pushes you to God but lately it’s just been pushing me away.
Josh Ritter says,
“If God’s up there, he’s in a cold dark room
The heavenly host are just the cold dark moons.
He bent down and made the world in seven days,
And ever since he’s been walking away.”
I don’t believe that, but sometimes it is a very tempting idea. I am still clinging—with white-knuckled fists!—to a Living God, a God that lives and breathes and moves among us. I want to know that God. And I like Jesus a lot. I’m not always so sure about God. But what it comes down to is that I don’t know how to obtain faith. Struggles and evil don’t give me more faith. Prayer and Scripture don’t seem to give me more faith. What will?
Coming home is always a little trying and I commonly feel lazy and irritable here. I don’t know why. It’s such an icky feeling and it just breeds wells of self-hatred. And I am always cold.
The sun is still out and I am happy for an extra hour. Life really does seem to renew itself in the spring. Sam is upstairs playing with our cousin Emily; they laugh breathlessly and stomp around without even trying to muffle the noise. Dad is drilling and hammering things somewhere. The day fades.
"In darkness he looks for the lights that have died;
You need faith for the same reasons that it’s so hard to find.
And this whole thing is headed for a terrible wreck—
And like good tragedy, that’s what we expect."
- Josh Ritter, “Thin Blue Flame”