This I Believe

Philip - Maple Grove, Minnesota
Entered on September 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I am a Deist, and it is far more burdensome to me than any faith by special revelation.

I believed in my faith before the war. I lived in a world where the good guys always win, the good guys are always right, and the good guys are always us. I believed that we did things for the right reasons, and in the right ways. When did I lose my faith?

I believe that a child crying in his mother’s dead arms is wrong. I know that good and evil take no sides, and that good guys can do evil things, and that evil guys can do good things. I believe that the real war at hand wasn’t between our army and theirs, but between our armies and that mother.

I believe that God was more concerned about that child than He was about my mission. I believe that God doesn’t accept excuses, ignorance or accidents. In the anguished cry of that child I heard the tortured weeping of God suffering yet another lost son. I heard His still, small voice, and the thunderous peals of my damnation. I had my revelation.

I prayed for that mother that night. I prayed even though everyone would tell us it was ok, that it wasn’t our fault, that things like this happen in war, that we didn’t know, and various other rationalizations we offer ourselves in the throes of our greatest sins.

I lost my faith that day, but I found God that night.

I believe that certain things are always wrong, no matter why you do them, or who you do them to. I believe that we are all God’s children. I believe that God is merciful and forgiving, and that I owe the same to all. I believe that maybe someday, somewhere else I will see her again. I believe I will fall to the ground and beg her forgiveness, washing her feet with my tears, paying for her mercy with my guilty sorrow.

I believe in God, but I know that I was on the wrong side. I believe that a mother died to save her child, but I know that she saved my soul.