Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
What do I now hope for, now that I no longer believe?
Having read this thread on CF, in particular one or two of the posts from Christians, it is as if I have become colour blind to God.
The things they say make no sense.
Once I used to say those things, think like that, believe with all my heart and mind and strength, yet now, it seems like so much straw.
So what do I have faith and hope in?
Those I love, those I cherish, those I trust.
Those real living breathing people that I have surrounded myself with, who work with me and live with me and love with me and laugh with me and cry with me.
And one day all shall be dust.
No substance in my future, just an end to me and my conscious presence in this world.
No gates of paradise to walk through, no beatific vision, no happy ending of the Last Battle for me.
Some may wonder how I keep on living with this thought.
Why not end now, walk away?
Well, I don't want to, I have too much to do, my boys to see to, my clients to listen to and hold through their despair and their dark nights. Who would see to them and who would put on Tom's cream, calm his fears, laugh at his jokes, soothe his troubled brow?
But I retain the right to walk away at a time of my choosing if ever the going gets too much and I have nothing left to offer, no family or friends to fight for, to give to, no skills left for those who need it.
And I can live with that knowledge of the finality and inevitability of death.
It is real for me, as surely as day follows night follows day, that one day I will be no more.
And as reality, I prefer it to the stories I used to live with.
The story of a creator who consigns people to eternal torment for following the wrong path, for foolishness, for silly human pride and weaknesses that we all posses. Who listens to the wailing and gnashing of teeth, but who does not respond for all eternity.
Thinking this through and saying it out loud makes me unspeakably sad, because this is not how I used to see the Lord, the one who was my Lord, my God, my all.
But my vision has altered and there is no way back.
There is no substance now in the things I once hoped for and no evidence of things unseen.
Just me and reality going forward, till I get as far as I can go.