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What We Want More Than to Know God Exists

“We all want to be certain, we all want proof, but the kind of proof that we tend to want–scientifically or philosophically demonstrable proof that would silence all doubts once and for all–would not in the long run, I think, answer the fearful depths of our need at all. For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is not objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle that we are really after. And that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.2

“When we are diagnosed with cancer we don’t want to be able to prove God’s existence, we want him near. When we lose a loved one we want God to be with us. In the midst of our confusion, struggles and questions, the thing that matters most to us is that we are not alone. And when we gather as a church family, the most important thing is to sense God’s presence with us. That is when we worship.”

Frederick Buechner

 

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