June 22, 2007

A Doubting Place

Posted in I wonder, spirituality at 10:20 pm by jimazing

In what I am about to write, I do not want to be fixed. I want to be heard. I welcome responses with questions that will help draw me out.  I welcome affirmation of me and my heart’s cry. But save your fixes and your answers for another time. I just don’t desire that right now.

doubt.gifYesterday, I heard a story about a young artist whose father is a pastor and his sister is a missionary, but he does not follow Christ. He says that he can see how God is real to his father and his sister, but he cannot see that for himself. I had to raise my hand and say out loud, “Me too.” I told the two men I was with that it is easy for me to see Christ in them. It is easy for me to see what great men of faith they are. It is easy to believe for them. In me it is hard. I doubt. I question. And when I doubt and question… I do it hard. I am so full of questions. I won’t list any of them here because I asked to be heard, not fixed.

I used to know all of the answers. I used to be able to quote chapter and verse quite literally to answer all of the questions I find myself asking. Those answers ring hollow to me. I am living a depth of real life that I never imagined 30 years ago. The easy answers don’t work at this depth. There’s a part of me that wants to answer all the questions and move on. But there’s another part of me that recognizes that the questions are essential. I ask them because something inside of me compels me to ask them. I ask because I want to know (but not right now:) )

Right in the middle of my doubting thoughts tonight, I saw the Lord move in a mysterious “coincidence”. I took Jeanie down to see Area 15 in Charlotte. (I’ll explain Area 15 later… hopefully tomorrow). It is in a pretty bad part of town, but Jeanie and I rode down so I could show it to her. We drove past and were heading out through the neighborhood. A few blocks away, there were two cars blocking the road and I was uncomfortable with the way things looked. I didn’t know if this was a drug deal or what, but I backed up into the intersection I had just ridden through. As I backed, I saw another car wanting to enter from my right. Thankfully, they stopped and waited for me to back up and turn. As we passed them, Jeanie said, “That is Greg and June.” I could hardly believe it. I turned around and followed them. They stopped at Area 15 and we pulled in behind them. Here we are in one of the worst sections of Charlotte, visiting with old friends and they also have two of my good friends whom I went to France with in 2004, Frankie and Alex.

I didn’t realize it but Charlotte 24-7 (part of Area 15) was open for prayer, so we went inside. The atmosphere was welcoming and peaceful. It was as if the God that I doubt so much was inviting me to sit on his lap and tell him what was on my mind. That moved me. Charlotte 24-7 moved me. The circumstances moved me. Being with my friends moved me. Being in an atmosphere of prayer and worship moved me.

What an enigma I am. I worship the very God that I doubt.


  1. ded said,

    It may not be comfortable, but you are in a good place. You invited us readers to draw you out, so I have a question. Do you doubt God as an entity (your story of being invited on His lap would say you don’t), His goodness (ditto) or what man has determined is the way you must be before Him?
    Wow, Greg and June! We saw June last summer. I haven’t sat and talked with Greg in fifteen years or more. I would be thrilled to see them. Maybe the next time we’re in Charlotte, the six of us can all connect. Would that be possible?

  2. jimazing said,

    Thanks ded. These are good questions. Thank you for drawing me out. I am going to answer by writing another blog entry tonight… if the electricity stays on. The power went out for an hour in the middle of my writing (thankfully, I saved my work).

    Jeanie and I were at Greg’s and June’s Sunday night for a La Clef gathering. If you are not familiar with the La Clef ministry, check it out at http://www.laclef.org

  3. John said,

    Thanks for your writings, Jim. You have great things to say. I enjoy your writings and I am impacted by them.

    Some people believe that if have doubt then you dont’t have faith. That may be true but I doubt it.

  4. Judy said,

    Jim, I completely understand where you are in that “questioning” phase. I think many Christians reach that point, and it really is a hard place to be. I hope you will receive answers and affirmations along the way. Love, Judy

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