I was completely floored.
One of the kindest, nicest, wisest, most helpful, most generous, most caring, and most cheerful men I have ever met (let’s call him Marcus)—who, according to his wife, is a romantic, thoughtful husband; has only good things to say about anyone; stays behind the scenes to let other people shine; and is loved by all—does not believe in God.
My eyes popped the day these words came out of his mouth, “I don’t believe in God.”
Irony indeed. His resume reads like a dream record of successes: educated in some of the best schools abroad, held high positions in prestigious companies, and had toured the world. He also went to a theological school at some point in his life, desiring to be a catholic priest.
A voracious reader, Marcus could engage anyone in conversations about any book, ideology, and current issue.
After his shocking pronouncement, I asked him journalism’s five “w’s” and one “h” in rapid succession.
He laughed. Then he expounded some arguments so intellectual he lost me. I decided that no matter how I tried to understand his reasons, I couldn’t.
I live on faith. He lives on logic. One is oil and the other is water.
Still, the fact that he has all the qualities I desire to have to model my faith, puzzles me. How could goodness and non-belief go together? How could he not see the blessings in his life, the grace in who he is?
Perhaps this is one of life ironies that believers are made to face to deepen their faith. What seems safe isn't, and vice-versa. From that day of our conversation, I added Marcus’ name to my list of prayer concerns.