Words of Hope: Rational
I had a beautiful opportunity on a flight to Oklahoma recently to talk with a brilliant person who memorized the poetry of GM Hopkins and John Milton when he was younger. It is so rare to find readers and scholars, but it is a joy to converse with someone with this background. Talking together we discovered that he is a devout atheist, and I am a believer. I rarely meet atheists in my social circles, so it was a delight dialoging with him.
I told him I was curious about his point of view. What compelled him to believe so strongly in atheism? He was curious about my belief. I shared with him that Dad was an atheist for a while, truly more an agnostic but decidedly in the camp of anti-religion and hatred of all things Christian. I told him Dad’s story of conversion from hatred to hope.
This man’s contentions with Christianity mostly center around what he believes is “rational” thinking and that belief abandons rationality.
I responded that I find atheism has abandoned reason to adopt a view of the world that is founded in despair. He argued that he doesn’t view the world with pessimism, but I countered that he has not faced ultimate despair.
We talked about my husband Shann’s work of ultimate forgiveness in the face of ultimate violence. I told him I believed there are no answers from an atheist viewpoint to offer those facing ultimate suffering.
Dad could rationally navigate cancer and ultimately death because of his belief. Experiencing death and cancer without a worldview of love and meaning, without a worldview of God as all-loving and eternity as truth, becomes irrational and elicits despair.
Is it any wonder God is called the God of Hope? This is one of my favorite titles for God.
I love that Dad will always be forever linked to the word Hope in my mind. It is this God of Hope who causes our hearts to overflow with hope, and hope is the only rational mindset for navigating our future.
May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13