Prayer of Doubt God, the ritual of thinking about you, fighting over and with ideas of you is the pattern of blood and scribblings and passings all my life; my doubts, denials, dejections, disappointments, distractions, delusions with you are the weaving myth of my story. You are my contradiction and my confusion; you are the question that keeps asking. I think of you and my mind is a circus, a carnival, a charnel house of memories, a feeling in the gut; I have doubted you, I have been doubt. There was a self-surprising, really absurd, dawning in the harrowing heart of any despair while you harpooned me and I screamed. Is doubt my cross? A thorn in my fleshly soul? Doubt is the prayer, doubt the necessary nativity for seeing the simplest thing; doubt is itself the dying of doubt, the strange birth of faith through the dark canal of doubt’s density where new belief and old doubt are a lover’s quarrel. God. You are my doubt and consume my doubt; my doubt is everything, nothing and neither for You absorb my doubt and absorb me in my every act of pure or murky abandonment to You, for You are my absolution and sole hope. Amen.
Alan Altany, Ph.D., is a septuagenarian college professor of religious studies. He’s been a factory worker, swineherd on a farm, hotel clerk, lawn maintenance worker, small magazine poetry editor, director of religious education for churches, truck driver, novelist, etc. He published a book of poetry in 2022 entitled A Beautiful Absurdity: Christian Poetry of the Sacred. His website is at https://www.alanaltany.com/.