Life’s Lines and the Faithless Man (Non Religious in America Part 3 – a Poem)

Faithless man viewing mountain

For quite a while, it was nice
to have life’s lines clearly drawn
—when it comes to lasting truth,
you want to have it written down.

And weren’t the words of truth
revealed by God long ago?
So you must never question them.
Just believe—your faith will grow.

But all the while the ghosts of doubt

—floating barely out of sight—
marred your peace by tempting you
to leave what you had learned was right:

How, you wondered, could a God
who is altogether good,
let war kill countless innocents
and watch millions more lack food?

How could the book say love comes first
but let women bow to men?
Why should a son be tortured so,
before the Father’s love was sent?

Still, you trudged on with ailing faith
in holy words you must not doubt!
Or you’d never have eternal bliss
the Judge of all would cast you out.

Then one day you met a man
who told you he had left the faith.
He questioned all that he’d been taught
and dared to choose another path—

a path of open curiosity,
a path of living here and now.
His heart no longer had to walk
where his mind refused to go.

All he knew of God he found
right in the mess and joy of life,
and certainty in anything
was nothing but a myth.

Of course you knew that he was wrong…
for you’d been warned a thousand times.
Yet, something in his openness
warmed your heart and sparked your mind.

Could true joy live outside of “faith?”
You thought you’d try it out
—isn’t life experiment
and mystery all about?

Maybe lines aren’t there in life
but only in our minds.
What if being open is best—
who knows what wonders you might find?

So now you let your mind be curious,
and need nothing to be “true.”
You only trust that you will live
the truest life by being you.


If you missed them, here are the first two parts of this series:
Non Religious in America Part 1 – Leaving Religion Behind
Non Religious in America Part 2 – Thinking for Yourself
And here are some related poems:
This Little Bit of Time
If You Would Give Me God


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