I Don’t Believe Anymore

I thought there was strength – undeniable, unlimited, abundant strength properly teamed with grace and used with discretion. I always thought there was an omnipotent ability to prevail. I am finding that is wrong. I don’t believe anymore.

It is odd how you come to a crossroads in your life when a long held tenant of faith is swept under in the strong current of present condition. I find it hard to balance what I have seen with what I have always believed. And so, like riptide pulling on the support beams of an ocean home, the very foundation of my faith has been pulled out from under me and I’m adrift in the surf.

I suppose I haven’t always believed. There was a time when I was a doubter, or just didn’t know because I had no experience. I was a young man just out of college when I first saw the light. It was during that period when one sets out on his own and takes in the world from a new perspective. He sees good, he sees evil, and he is forced to make a choice as to which he will follow as a guiding source for his life – almost like a Jedi coming out of training.

I chose. And I don’t regret my choice. It became the North Star that guided me for most of my adult life. Until now – I don’t believe anymore. imageOn a recent trip home from Seattle, everything changed for me. It wasn’t an epiphany or anything. I just saw something that I can’t balance with what I formerly believed – these things cannot coexist. After experiencing the wonder of God’s creation in the Pacific Northwest, I was confronted with an undeniable faith-altering event.

It happened at 30,000 feet where I was seated between my lovely wife and a lady I must have offended because she pulled her hood tight and wrapped her glasses with a scarf in an attempt to completely blot me out. Scrolling through the movies available, I stumbled upon Taken 2… Liam Neeson.

Since I saw him as brilliant scientist Peyton Westlake in Darkman, then in a kilt in Rob Roy, I have always felt that Liam Neeson was somewhat superhuman. While he isn’t a muscle-bound Vin Diesel or Dwayne Johnson, I still believed that he could whip either of them through his cunning, street smarts, and all-out badness. Did you see him lead the Dead Rabbits into battle in Gangs of New York? The stuff of legend save a cheap knife in the ribs by Bill the Butcher. In the first Taken, he still had that stuff and channeled by the motivation of saving his daughter it was totally believable that a fifty-five year old could roundhouse kick an entire gang of European thugs…

But now he is over sixty. It just doesn’t work. I don’t believe in Liam Neeson anymore and part of my heart is missing. He just looks mostly tired and they used brief snippets of him kicking, but then pan to a dangling light bulb or a rustling chain so they mercifully don’t have to show his hip stuck or that he fell down. I imagine just after the action scene he is doubled over holding his back while a gaffer gets him an aspirin. He was so exhausted they had him kill the final bad guy with some face-palm-grip thing. It was all he had left.

It’s been a really good run, but it might be time to take a page from James Garner’s book and do something like The Notebook. Or he and Harrison Ford could revive the Grumpy Old Men movies.

I don’t believe in Liam Neeson anymore and I don’t know what to do without that.

(Oh, and I hear there is a Taken 3. Seriously? Perhaps they should hire better security.)



*photo attribution: Alexis Courthoud (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


19 thoughts on “I Don’t Believe Anymore

  1. Mark, I hope you will find your way back to being a believer. Not the one you were but actually one made much stronger by all that you have seen and experienced. Liam Neeson is just an actor and did you consider the woman with the hood and scarf was ill, like flu, and was protecting you and your wife.
    Kylie, while I did not know her, was a believer. Of course, prayer is often invoked for cure, less pain, that this reality of Childhood Cancer is a nightmare, that will end when one awakens. Sadly, that isn’t true and I think believing in God opens the opportunities sent, that provide comfort from pain, special time together, and a general sense of peace and trust that God is there for them. It doesnt make anything better. Childhood Cancer is horrific and I say that not because I had a child diagnosed with it but as someone who worked over 20 years with kids and their families. I cant even imagine your pain or of any of the families. It makes nothing fair in life. It doesn’t change that KYLIE’S gone from this life forever. But believing, like Kylie did and was taught at home will propel you to action to make that difference in Childhood Cancer as a person of Faith and belief!

      1. Whew, that says, it all -YOU DID GET ME!!!!! or I did not get you. At least is it all fine now!!!!!

  2. Whoooo….you had me going there for a minute! I was pulling my soapbox out to climb up on it and give you a pep talk. That sound you hear? Me sheepishly pulling the box back into the laundry room and giggling. 🙂

  3. Mark, fellow parent and doubter

    Neeson grows old, perhaps he should embrace such luck … I remember his kilt in Rob Roy, his leadership in Gangs of New York and many other ‘strong guy movies’

    The NoteBook was one of the last movies Erin and I viewed… ‘the saddest movie I’ve ever seen in my life mum’, Erin said. ‘It’s sadder than ‘my sister’s keeper’, Erin said … a film we saw prior to preditor no.1

    Erin hoped and expected ‘the sister to live’
    Erin knew ‘Garner’s wife was dead and he was going to be with her’

    Such becomes the insight of little girls (and boys) during the fight for life ~ intuition becomes beyond our comprehension

    Erin laughed at the final movie we viewed, ‘A Fault In Our Stars’… people in the cinema stared at us (they were crying) – ‘We knew the secret’..

    … “omg mum, can you imagine me in one of those groups, omg mum, why did she not tell her mum NO’… Erin paused, then said

    …’I’m so glad she went to the group, her mum done the right thing’…. pause…. ‘But that kinda stuff ain’t me, I like helping other people, I just don’t like doing it at home’…. Erin had read the book, watched the blogs, she knew this wasn’t just a movie

    Acceptance of growing old continues to baffle me ~ How lucky are those who get the opportunity to ‘go grey’ – ‘get wrinkles’

    Thank you America for providing Erin’s ‘safe place’

    Thank you Mark


    1. Yeah. The whole grenade throwing thing was a little comical. But I was still a believer that he could time it and the intersecting circles was awesome. It was the hand-to aged hand melee that got me.

  4. To many of us – parents who have lost a child to cancer – the first two paragraphs of your post very accurately describe what we feel after the devastating and completely incomprehensible tragedy. I don’t believe anymore, not in Liam Neeson though, but in god or whoever/whatever rules this world and has allowed our children to suffer so much before taking them from us. Too early for me to put my feelings in the “humor” section. Anyway, this is a very good and beautifully written post. Especially the first two or three paragraphs. Thank you.

    1. I’m sorry for your loss, sad-mommy. I don’t have any words of wisdom for you because Lord knows that no words have ever worked for me since Kylie died. Thank you for reading my blog, funny and not, and if you ever want to talk further, my email is in the contact section.

  5. Laughing my butt off!
    Now…I gotta go figure out why your posts don’t show up in my e-mail anymore. I have missed so much!
    I’m gonna see if I need to go “re-follow” – reading you makes my heart happy 🙂

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