27 Jun In the Absence of Proof
I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining.
And I believe in love, even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God, even when God is silent.
These words, attributed to an unknown prisoner in one of the Word War II concentration camps, sum up the essence of “faith.” Faith is a choice. It is choosing to believe even in the absence of anything that might resemble “proof.”
I should probably confess that in my less-than-finer moments, which occur with disturbing regularity, I can be impatient with the debates about faith and the existence of God. The fact is that all of us are people of faith. The only distinction is what or who we choose to put our faith in.
At night or on a cloudy day we choose to believe that the sun exists because our science teacher taught us about the Earth’s rotation and how it impacts when we see the sun and when we don’t. We may also choose to believe the sun exists because of our experience. Other cloudy days have always eventually yielded to reveal that bright orange ball in the sky, just as nighttime always yields to the dawn of early morning light.
Unlike the sun, however, neither love nor God can be proved in a scientific way. We can’t dissect love and put it under a microscope to verify its existence. There is no empirical evidence of love which means that every time we choose to love someone, we put ourselves at risk. Choosing to love is inherently vulnerable.
The Christian scriptures say that God is love. So, when we experience love, we are having an experience of the Divine. We are touching God. I certainly felt that when I gave birth to my two children many years ago. Those were sacred moments in which I gained an entirely new understanding of what it means to be a partner with God in creation. Out of love something new was birthed, and those two new lives then generated even more love—and continue to do so. That is part of the beauty of love. It never runs out. It doesn’t have a “use by” date. Love begets love begets more love. It is a glorious cycle that is fully trustworthy because the source of all love is fully trustworthy. God is love.
Love and God are both mysteries. We can’t explain love any more than we can empirically prove it. Why do we “fall in love” with one person but not with another even though they might share many of the same characteristics? It’s something that goes beyond reason, logic, and explanation. God also defies reason, logic, and explanation. And like love, the absence of proof does not invalidate God’s existence. In fact, it’s the things in life we can’t prove or explain that bring us the most meaning, joy, beauty, and peace. Would you really want it any other way?
Yours for the Kingdom,