What We Really Need

We all want to be certain, we all want proof, but the kind of proof we tend to want—scientifically and philosophically demonstrable proof that would silence all doubts once and for all—would not in the long run, I think, answer the fearful depths of our need at all.

For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but who in one way or another is trying to get messages throughout our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and mystery and marvel of the world.

It is not the objective proof of God’s existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God’s presence.

– Frederick Buechner, “Message in the Stars”