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She was young (19 or 20, I think), and had served well for a time, as a volunteer teacher in our small seminary. Every year, a volunteer or two came out to teach English at our school in Cameroon and in that particular year, our volunteer’s name was Kathryn. She had worked very hard, and had done well, but the time of her departure had come. She left Garoua Boulaï to make the grueling 18 hour trip (to Ngaoundéré on a Sunday, and had planned on staying in Ngaoundéré for one week to rest up before the long flight back to the US midwest. I was scheduled to travel up at the end of that week, and assumed I would see her again before she left, but had said my farewells just in case I was delayed. About two days before I was to leave, at the morning radio contact (there were no telephones in those days…), she was on the radio, frantically asking, “has anyone seen my passport?….I can’t find my passport….” So we looked in her guesthouse and sure enough there it was…. The next day at radio time, we told her the good news. Her response was, “can someone bring it up today?” “Well no…” there was no one traveling and the next occasion was tomorrow, when I was to go up.
She became frantic again, and said she was worried. It had been raining all week and the roads were getting worse and worse. She didn’t think I would make it in time. She was full of doubt. But in truth, there was nothing anybody could do…. Doubt can be anxiety provoking, but it does not necessarily preclude faith; in fact, it may be an important constituent element of faith.
In this sermon we’ll explore Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, and think about what it means to make room for doubt.