I have sat in empty streets and watched by lamplight while others retreat to their beds. I have felt the pangs of sorrow, the tragic joys of an inexpressible beauty. I have sat listening, quietly, to the thoughtless chatter of the television and wondered whether I am any different. I have felt the oddness of a church pew, have tripped and stumbled while walking forward to break bread in gratitude. I have wondered about that little church down the street and whether it will be boarded up someday. And whether I will survive it. I have felt the groaning of a question that I have not yet found the words for. I have longed for the newness, the remaking, and have wondered why He tarries. I have trembled at the gravity of writing down words. Will I too join Him on the last day? What must I do to be saved? I know the cold of a night beneath the terror of eternity. When we stand before the face of God, shall we dare ask a question? How shall our voices find words, much less inquiring ones? When we see the suffering of the infants, the brutality of a violent world, how can we have a thought at all? Shall we tarry here, and linger over one last cup of tea? Is it vanity to believe our words have found a meaning, or that a meaning has found our words? Shall we speak, or shall we sit in the silence, measuring out our lives by the subtle smiles we pass each other across our open books? Is it because of all that quietness that libraries are such romantic places, or is it that we feel ourselves daunted by the surrounding mysteries. It is a long journey, this road home. There are detours and wrong turns, mistakes and sins. There is repenting, always repenting, and a mercy that stands with, in, and around us. And there is growth, the only law of the life of the Spirit. It is not always perceptible, for the seeds beneath the earth are reborn long before we see their shoots. And it is always painful, for except that a seed fall to the ground and die, it can bear no fruit. But sill there is expansion, the stretching outward and upward to the heavens. We grow into sight. But we are not given it yet. We have heard the echo, but we have not grasped its source. We have seen the reflection, but we await the consummation. When shall I come and appear before my God?
—Matthew Lee Anderson (who blogs here), The End of Our Exploring: A Book About Questioning and the Confidence of Faith, pages 181-182