I have come to define faith this way:
Faith is the knowledge that something exists or something is true without proof, or that an event will occur in the absence of reason and logic.
There is great strength in faith. It is one of the core messages in my 2012 novella The Sixth Day, and that is why the Old Man asks his young protégé, “You got faith, Sam?” When a person acknowledges that he has faith, he grows stronger… physically, mentally, and spiritually.
In deference to the many contemplatives and religious – Eastern, Western, North, South, Islam, Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, Baha’i, and otherwise – who have pondered faith through the centuries, contemporary writer Wendell Berry presents a better explanation of faith than any I have encountered.
Jayber Crow (2000) is the sixth of Mr. Berry’s seven ‘Port William’ novels. Jayber is the town’s barber, gravedigger, and church custodian (circa the 30s – 70s). As the story concludes, Jayber affirms that he is a man of faith and he helps us understand what that means by telling us the story of the Man in the Well…
In this time of pandemic and civil strife, I ask the Old Man’s question, “You got faith?” for indeed, a man of faith believes that the Man in the Well is not lost!
“Man of God”
words and music by Neil Diamond
from “12 Songs” copyright 2005