I wasn’t assigned doubt. I chose it. Or rather it chose me. I’m not talking about little bits of self-doubt and indecision. I’m not even talking about full on, fist shaking doubt. I’m talking about the kind of doubt that gets into the marrow, where my faith feels like a façade. My prayers just aren’t. And if I’m honest with myself, I go to church too many Sundays because I want my kids to have the kind of Dad who goes to church.
I’m not Catholic, but I’ve said my share of prayers to St. Thomas. He’s a doubter too, and I’m completely on his side. Imagine the scene. A crowd of hysterical disciples have all convinced themselves that Jesus came back from the dead. I would be right there with Thomas, shaking my head, feeling a bit self-righteous. Thomas knows Jesus died the kind of death you don’t come back from. There were spikes and spears. It was bloody.
That seems like reasonable doubt to me.
To me, doubt is reasonable. My prayer is always an act of faith, leaving a phone message for a God I haven’t touched. Thomas touched the wrists of Jesus. Thomas touched his side. I touch a translation of an old story that has been mass-produced on miraculously thin sheets of gilded paper. Some days it feels like I’ve touched nothing at all.
My friends at Patheos are reflecting on the eight “Teresa Principles” highlighted in the new book, Mother Teresa, CEO: Unexpected Principles for Practical Leadership. It’s part of their book blogger roundtable conversation on faith & leadership, in which leaders of faith dive a bit deeper into some of the principles in the book.