We didn’t go to church, and this drew me no further to finding my answers than it had done before. Briefly I was happy, as Shani helped me with a particularly nasty maths equation, and then we settled in front of the TV till lunchtime.

But when she left, denying lunch on the grounds that Clara was cooking something special, I fell back into dismal dejection. She had helped me no more than anyone. She didn’t understand me. She merely changed the subject and directed my thoughts upon another path in the hope that I might forget.

And, briefly, I fell into the trap and forgot. But I could not block out the questions forever, and it was over a dull-tasting sandwich-orientated meal that my doubts began to return.

I felt that in some way going to church might have helped me, though consciously I knew that it would not. I hated that conscious doubt. If I could just rid myself of it, then perhaps my utmost trust in God would prevail and I would find my answers. But I could not consciously eliminate it now that I had recognised it. It would stay with me till I really did forget.

I prayed most of the day for clarity to dawn, but it did not. I was helpless and unable to help in my own faith.

It’s just a phase, Den, I assured myself half-doubtingly – well, then, it’s a phase rather early in the proceedings!

But it is a phase, and it will pass, I made haste to ascertain to myself. I am human. I glow and swell with faith, and then I fade and deflate with dejection.

What a word – faith! Such a small simplistic word, but with such huge implications. How I ache! – how I wish I had faith!

The End

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