In Anais Mitchell’s “folk opera” telling of the Orpheus myth, “Doubt Comes In” accompanies Orpheus on his defining journey out of Hades. The deal with Hades is: Eurydice, Orpheus’ love, can follow Orpheus out of the underworld only if Orpheus can make the whole journey without looking back. It is a test of faith, and a test of love.
Doubt comes in and my heart falters
And forgets the songs it sung
Where are you? Where are you now?
The folks writing scripture didn’t talk about “doubt” in the same quantity or of the same quality I most often hear it in religious conversation. It’s not a matter of the veracity or intensity of one’s confidence God exists, or one’s version of god, but of one’s single-minded trust in God’s loving intent and sufficient power.
Peter on the water, frightened by the waves;
The church full of split-allegiances that James writes, not suffering from facts without evidence, but faith without works;
The prayer of a desperate father, meeting Jesus halfway: “I believe; help my unbelief.”
Doubt cries for action, more than certainty; an action born of trust, or God’s action in response. Doubt and faith wrestle in that extended moment between “I love you,” and, “I love you, too.”
Doubt comes in, and the walker hesitates; does she love me this much? Am I enough? Can she do this?
Maybe I need to check.
The fates are no help. I don’t need an apologist or an argument, or a probability estimate. I just need to know: is she coming with me?
Hold on tight
It won’t be long
“I figured it out!” is a lousy love song.
Where there is doubt, may I bring faith.