Ode to the Brave Ones

We give doubters a lot of flak but I am beginning to think they are the brave ones… as they are able to own up to their lack of understanding, trust, and sense of security.  Those daring enough to expose doubt, give light to the inner realities of the common consciousness.  For whatever reason, its scary to expose uncertainty.  As if talking about it makes it all the more real.

We give doubters a lot of flak but I am beginning to think they are the brave ones…   as they are those daring enough to start a cheer, to dance like no one is watching, to walk confidently with a style and swagger all their own.  They are the children who leap unto vehicles of uncertainty without reserve, as the training wheels come off their bikes for the first time.  They are those convinced they can fly, and they will, because they are not afraid to look into every possibility and to search around every corner.  They know truth precisely because they are not afraid to expose the shallowness of their prior understandings.  They are the lucky ones, able to question, to wrestle, and to let go of excess.  For them, nothing is too sacred to question or too well established to reexamine.

“to believe is human, to doubt is divine” -Peter Rollins

It is a divine art to be able to sit with the tension that is doubt, uncertainty, and questions.  Most of us are not able to hold our ground in this space very long as we are creatures begging for certainty, security, and understanding.  We want things to be black and white, right and wrong, when all too often that is not the case.  After all, life is more vibrant with colour draped over a messy canvas than neat lines drawn in the sand.  In this, I am beginning to see beauty on a whole new spectrum.  A spectrum not visible to the unwilling eye.  A spectrum all to easy to miss.  Indeed it is a brave occupation to question and doubt the full spectrum of truth.

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  For an entire afternoon, I was a complete mess because of one small act.  It happened on a Sunday afternoon just before nap time.  For me, this day will go down in history, as the day my Papa took away my beloved binky.  I was no longer able to settle quickly into my bed for a nap.  I was no longer able to find the comfort that was my trusty pacifier.  In this, my security was literally ripped from beneath my baby teeth.  I had to experience things anew without the security, I had come to cherish.  That same raw emotion accompanies us when doubt snatches at the foundations of all that we have come to know and believe.

I have to admit, at first glance doubt seems rather grand but then it quickly morphs into something utterly appalling.  It becomes especially grotesque when one has sat with it long enough to begin voicing that uncertainty in community.  As if voicing our various uncertainties makes them all the more concrete.  So I wonder, what would happen we took the time to learn of the inner doubts of others and were able to hold them in concert with our own uncertainties?  I wonder what would happen if we allowed doubt to sit among the topics of everyday conversation?  I wonder what would happen if we normalized uncertainty, as a necessary part of the journey?  Honestly, it scares the shit out of me even entertain the thought of this sort of practice.  As with the pacifier story, I am increasingly aware of how hesitant I am of anything that threatens my sense of grounding.

And so I step out timidly into the world of doubt to expose even a glimpse of my own inner wonderings.  Could this be the beginning of deeper understanding?

We give doubters a lot of flak but I am beginning to think they are the brave ones…  for they step out in courage voicing what so many of us wrestle with privately.

This post serves as an introduction to a series about voicing doubt, a series I have entitled Dancing with Doubt.


2 thoughts on “Ode to the Brave Ones

  1. “As if talking about it makes it all the more real.”

    Love this line. Love this post.

    Believing in something is easy. It’s doubting that’s truly difficult. This whole year at MH we were able to bring everyone to a space of belief. Inviting people to a space of doubt and question and uncertainty is much more difficult. But much more necessary.

    Here’s to a journey towards and with doubt! It’s one that you will never take alone.

  2. Anna, thanks for you comment on my blog!
    I’ve found that when all else fails, and everything I’ve got, and everything I’ve trusted in falls apart. That when I doubt God, doubt myself, even doubt my doubts. That in the ruin and rubble, There is God, smiling and reaching out to carry me.

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