Ghosts (A Poem)

The world is haunted with the presence of God. Amidst pain, suffering, loss, love, fear, doubts, school, shopping, work, family, food, TV, and longing, we know deep in our bones we are created for more. We can wish it away, intellectualize it away, or try to live in denial. But the ghosts are real.

I wrote a poem about it.


by Ryan J. Pelton

The New Atheists say there is no God.

I know it’s easy to shut the door on the complexity and beauty of the universe.  

But the ghosts are real.

The haunting of longing and love and desire and beauty and transcendence and justice won’t shut off today.

Like a faucet dripping in the background of life.

We tighten and lubricate and repair with the things of the world to no avail.

Some say, “I don’t believe in God. But I miss him.”

Aching, wonder, and wishing it were not true. 

Indifference and ignorance and arrogance is an easier path of forgetfulness.

But the ghosts are real.

Ghosts of the past embodied in the souls and experiences and longings of others.

People gathered in dirt and cathedral and classroom not because of belief. 

Gathered because of ghosts.

My heart wanders Lord I feel it. 

But the ghosts are real. 

They bring me back from the doubts and the fears and the unbelief.

Ghosts aren’t enough to cope with the pain and longing and doubt and suffering. 

I need something more than crutches and wishful thinking. 

Jesus was thought to be a ghost. 

Until he showed evidence of death and resurrection and ate fish. 

The ghosts are something else.

A Messiah-haunted world.