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On Justice and Faith

I'm gazing at the starry sky knowing that I am only seeing the tiniest bit of a universe so vast that it hurts my head to contemplate it. The universe is both beautiful and terrifying. The energy generated by our own rather ordinary start - the sun - in one second could power the Earth for decades. I think how unimaginably beautiful it must be out there between the stars - floating between billions of galaxies each with hundreds of billions of stars. I don't see God anywhere but evidence of His touch is everywhere. I'm in a pensive mood as I look up at the stars; I feel small and unimportant - not that that's a bad thing. It's a real thing and it's too bad more people don't look up at the sky and feel the same.

I am thinking about God and wondering what God is and I start feeling jealous. I am really jealous of those who have so much faith they never question the existence of Gold. They go to their graves knowing there is something waiting for them on the "other side", they really do believe and no one is going to shake them loose from their faith. I think that even if they are completely wrong and God doesn't exist at least they've lived a lifetime knowing that though they will die they will live on. There's nothing wrong with believing and having that much faith. I like that idea. I just wish I could hold on to it. 

I remember being a kid and believing in Santa Claus - and I'm not comparing God to Santa Claus - and all the happy moments I spent believing in something that wasn't real - or was it? If you believe in something with all your heart and all your mind, it's real isn't it? Santa Claus was just as real to me at one time in my life as the chair I'm sitting on or the stars in the sky above. I feel sorry for the kids whose parents don't believe in Santa Claus. I'm glad my parents did.

So, I start thinking about God and wondering where these lucky people find all this faith. I'm sure if I asked them they'd quote me verses from the Bible but that can't be where their faith comes from. I wonder if they were introdoctrinated so well as children that the foundation of faith they enjoy never crumbled but endured even though the world tried its best to tempt them with daily reminders of the pleasures to be had if they'd only succumb to a bit greed, lust, or any number of other carnal temptations. How do they do it? How do they stand on that rock of faith and never fall off? I'm jealous.

I think about God and wonder about things. Somewhere deep inside of me there is a feeling and I can't describe it, that wants to have the kind of faith I see in some people. I am jealous because they have something I don't think I'll ever have -- they have an unshakable faith in something that cannot be seen, felt, heard or measured. I would like to feel that, I think.

It's not that I don't believe in God, I do believe in God. I just cannot find the depth of faith that I would like to have. I know if I said to others I'd be inviting a swarm of proselytizers all bound to "save my soul". I really doubt those proselytizers have the kind of faith I want. I think they proselytize because they don't have the faith they want either, so they compensate by trying to make believers out of others -- a misery loves company type of thing. I really don't like proselytizers at all. I don't think they have any more faith than I do.

Looking up at the deep, dark sky, filled with twinkling dots of light, I think about justice. If ever there were thoughts that make me believe in God, these do. There are people in this world who commit heinous acts - kill, rape, maim, and take great pleasure in doing them. The other day I read a story about a thirteen year-old boy who had become a "hit man" for a Mexican drug cartel. He was so exuberant about robbing another human being of his life. He said the first time he killed a man he loved doing it - he never had so much fun is what he said. How could anyone enjoy killing another human being? How could anyone say they had fun killing another? 

There must be a God because I really don't like to think that that boy who killed men with such glee and enjoyment and I are going to end up in the same place when we die, even if that place is nothingness. Nothingness might be what I deserve but he deserves worse. I'm not the best person in the world and I've done my share of things I am not very proud of, but some of the things people do to each other I cannot even comprehend doing. Where is the justice in this universe if there is no God? There are people who live good lives, do the right things, and live by the Golden Rule who don't believe in God. And there are those who say they believe in God and do terrible things. Where is the justice if some evil person who believes in God goes to some sort of Heaven and the good person who doesn't believe goes to Hell? If there was no God there wouldn't be any justice - our lives would be what they are and we'd all end up in the same place in the end - ashes to ashes and dust to dust and all that.

If I said what I'm saying here to others I'm sure I'd be beaten over the head with John 3:16 a few hundred times. I know that verse. I know the New Testament well. Something I feel inside is that God exists because humankind it all its ignorance, greed, evil, and sin sees a need for justice. The God who created this amazing universe and painted this sky full of stars would surely see a need for justice too. 

Because I cannot imagine that the good people and the truly evil people all end up in the same place, I believe in God. I don't need proselytizers or Bible-thumpers to tell me what God is - I think I have a pretty good idea. In the starry sky I've found a bit of faith the size of a grain of sand and that's a start - and quite a lot of faith for me .

I start thinking about a Bible verse I've read about faith and a mustard seed and it comes to me: "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:19-20

You know, I am not so jealous after all.

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