Of recent days i have been taking part
In a bit of Coffee-House Theology
With a man on an inner journey
No longer a new friend but not yet an old one
One recovering not so much faith in God
As a recovering of faith in the Church
Not a church of Creeds and Orderings
So much as a place of deep community and Story
The focusing of hope for a world future
A place for doubt and acceptance

As a person of both faith and doubt
My friend is looking again at the value for him
Of creeds, doctrines and specific beliefs
And with some degree of paradox
He is coming to see their valued place in his life
Perhaps as Marcus Borg has well said
“Again for the First Time”!

In our ongoing conversation i confess
That i am the agnostic one here!
What is their place in my life
After my several decades as a Minister of the Word

Surely — i say
Yes there probably is the need for such beliefs
Yes they just might have their value
Like the developing bird-foetus in the egg
Needs its shell to keep some sense of safety

Yet if the bird is to discover
What it is designed to be
It must break out the shell and learn to fly!
And that takes courage and an acceptance
Of a necessary vulnerability
In which the “shell” is but a memory

John Cranmer

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