I once read a novel in which the protagonist divided humankind into two categories: those who are always aware of the “abyss,” and those who are not. “The abyss” referred to the darkness and suffering that pervade human life, the agony that screams from newspaper headlines and whimpers in lonely corners. I immediately recognized myself as one who is painfully aware of the abyss. Holly Burkhalter, author of Good God, Lousy World & Me, is also one of us. For many years, her intimate knowledge of the world’s darkness, particularly the hideous ways that human beings can treat one another, made her an angry atheist.
…thought I’d vomit…Praising God for our spectacular privileges, right down to our intact tires, in the face of the hunger and trauma we’d just witnessed, struck me as downright obscene. I wasn’t a Christian at the beginning of the trip, and by the end of it I could scarcely tolerate the sight of those who were.