This post is about the struggles of an octogenarian who worships the unknown and is troubled by his ignorance of the knowable.
On Sunday Morning it is my custom to attend the worship service at College Mennonite Church. This past Sunday we celebrated “All Saints Day” and by ritual, prayer, song and sermon we remembered the lives of the twenty-four persons who left us sometime in the past twelve months. We called them “saints.” While I enjoyed the service, I still had some discomforting thoughts.
The discomfort arose from my care of those with whom I regularly join in Borderlands after worship. I think of them as my brothers and sisters. Many of them are driven by a need for scientific data. They doubt the existence of God, creation, and life after death. I wondered if they at the end of their days would want to be remembered and portrayed as one of the saints above on all saints day?
So while chatting over coffee before the signal to convene, I asked one whom I knew to be an unbeliever what he thought of the service on all saints day. I like it, he said. It is my favorite service. It is so warm, how could one not like it?
Within the broad tent of faith at College Mennonite Church we all find a place to befriend others who have little faith, ask many questions and live good lives. As I cross and recross the boundary between sincere worship and desire to know, perhaps I am developing a new way of looking at things that combines science and theology. Dare I coin a word and describe it as sci-tho’-log-y? That is, the more I think I might know, the more I stand in awe of the mystery of scithology.
I carry two small stones in my pocket. One is a piece of slate formed of silt layered and hardened by the weight of an ocean. I found it among the river rock used as mulch outside door 6 where I sit and wait for rides.
The other stone is a bit of granite thought to be formed by great heat, pummeled into a round shape by multiple encounters with river gravel. I found it outside the red barn on the Hoover farm.
How great the mysteries wrapped in the stones I carry in my pocket. How, when, where and why?
Not having great faith,
Many hard questions are asked.
Gain peace, not knowing.