Of course, I'll let your comment stand. But I do not find it thoughtful or caring. You are merely expressing your views and opinions. I am NOT denigrating anyone's faith. I am merely expressing MY opinions and views in my poem. I would never try to persuade anyone to abandon their beliefs. If there are readers who find truth in my poem, it has special meaning to them. They understand what I am saying. I am asking questions that perhaps many have asked throughout time. You say you have doubts that wax and wane - as we all do. You believe God's grace is sufficient for everyone. Please don't include EVERYONE in your supposition. There are those of us who do not feel his grace. You say The only hell that exists is my lack of faith that God's grace is not sufficient for me. How absurd! In other words, I'm not delusional enough to avoid this hell I'm feeling. I have to live in a world of make believe, I have to imagine what does not exist for me, to somehow be real so I can find peace and contentment? What a problem solver you are! But we're not all weak-minded and gullible. Some of us think deeply and search for the truth. Never have I said God does not exist. That would be foolish, because there is no proof for either side. And how can you be so sure about the role God plays in our lives if he does exist? What if he is just a creator? Suppose he creates life, but is not concerned about how it progresses or fares? As for human intellect, I think it is quite admirable. We are capable of so much, and have achieved wondrous accomplishments. And you say our intellect pales compared to God's - really? Are you sure about this?
Yes, pain is a feeling - just like joy, but it is NOT just a judgement on our part. Circumstances and events cause joy and pain. Emotional pain cannot be turned on and off with a switch, as you are suggesting. The recent slaughter of many children in Pakistan caused me pain. My first thought was How could God allow this to happen? How could your loving God allow this to happen? Can you understand why I do not see God as a loving entity? He may exist, but in my opinion, cannot be worshipped, for I would only be acknowledging his powers as a creator, nothing more. That's not reason enough for me to give my love to him and worship him. That makes no sense to me. And I will not do it because I fear he may retaliate. The love and care humans give to each other far outweighs any imaginary love from a God that may or may not exist.
No, Brian, I do not find your comment offensive. You are entitled to express your opinion, and I respect it.
If only life were this easy, but it is not. Your poem asks us to shed the cloak of despair that binds us so tightly. Blessed are those who can do this, but for most of us this is not possible. Nevertheless, a very encouraging poem, well intentioned, well written.