Crisis of faith?




Crisis: a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger. A time when a difficult or important decision must be made.

Faith: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Remember last week I introduced my blog as journeying. I wrote about how journeys can be painful. Journeys can also cause us to really come to a point in our lives when we have to make a decision about what and who to trust. I engaged in a conversation with a person this week who was struggling in their journey. You will notice I have given the definitions to two words to begin this blog. I give these definitions because I had a discussion this week with someone who told me they had a “crisis of faith.” As I sat and listened to what this person was sharing, I began to question in my mind this phrase, “crisis of faith”. The question that came to my mind is this: “can a single event cause a person to have a crisis of faith?” I have to admit that the event this person shared with me that they journeyed through was horrible. I can’t even imagine going through what they went through. However, I still have to wonder if a single event can cause us to have a crisis of faith.

I guess I ask this question because it was not the event, or the people involved in the event that the person had faith in. It was God. It was the same God who sent His Son to die on the cross for the world. Nothing changed about God. True, something bad happened to a young person in the event. It was something that was horrible as the young person lost their life. It was an accident, but he still lost his life, innocently. So the question came to this person, “why would God allow this to happen?” No answers. It was an accident. So what would cause a crisis of faith?

I feel bad for the family who went through this event. No family should go through what they did. But what caused the crisis of faith? What caused the feelings that church was not important or real? What caused the feelings that a pastor should not say certain things because what they say is not real? I am truly and honestly pondering this question and would love some input.

Please don’t think I am saying that this person’s struggle is not real. It is a real struggle and I believe something a lot of people are going through. What I am asking is how does this happen? The journey is real and the feeling is real. I believe the struggle is real. I also believe that events that take place in life, especially when they are traumatic, should cause us to process what happened. However, it does concern me that a single event can cause people to have a crisis, and sometimes even lose their faith in a loving God.

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Intro to the Journey



December 11, 2010 will always be etched in my mind. I watched as my mother was journeying through a part of her life, a new part, a different part. The chapters of her book on earth were concluding. She lay in the bed at the Hospice House, awake, but asleep with the family gathered around. As I said my “goodbyes” to her, I knew it would not be long until her journey transitioned to the next part, the part on the other side of this life.

My name in Johnny Richards. I see life from different views. I am a husband of 30 years to a wonderful lady, Kathy. I am the father of four wonderful children, Heidi, Nathan, Caitlin and Christopher. I am a pastor and I am a Hospice Bereavement coordinator. I have also been a Hospice Chaplain. While I have had a journey for 54 years, it is the last two years that have given me the vision for this blog. I completed my chaplain residency in 2013 with the help of a friend and mentor, Dr. Randy Hall. He gave me the permission to image my feelings, something I have fallen in love with doing. I enjoy putting pictures to the feelings with which I am dealing. It allows me to really focus on why I am feeling the way I am. Thus the image of a journey.

We all take journeys in life. Most of the time we think about journeys as a vacation to an exciting and expectant place. We make our plans, talk to the family, pack our bags and look forward, with anticipation, to the journey. We enjoy this journey. This journey causes memories to be packed away in our minds. We can look back on these journeys with joy as we begin to look forward and plan for our next journey.

Unfortunately, there are journeys that take place that we are not prepared to take. These journeys take us to places we are not expecting, and not sure where we are going. Journeys that do not bring about joy and laughter, but sometimes pain, anger and bitterness. Nevertheless, they are journeys we take.

This blog will be about journeys. It will be about journeys taken on a different level. The journeys will not always be filled with joy, but sometimes pain. However, the journeys will not be taken alone. The journeys will be taken with others eyes watching and other hands and feet helping. Some journeys need to be taken with others by our side.

This blog will also talk about those who are helpers, caregivers, aids and friends. While some people feel they are helpless as they watch someone journey, quiet and strong helpers are appreciated in the difficult journeys we face. My goal in this blog is not to teach the reader, but to allow the reader to experience the journey. If there is something that is read that helps strengthen someone, that is good. If there is something that is read that gives someone confidence and courage, that is good. If there is something that is read that helps the reader connect, that is better.

The journey is beginning. Today is the first day of this journey. Pack your bags, but understand, I am not sure where this journey is going, which brings about both excitement and anxiety. But thats ok, as long as I know I have people journeying with me.