Faith is an expression of hope for something better. More than a wish, it is closer to a belief, but not quite. A belief is rooted in the mind. Faith is based in the heart.
We act in faith when there is no guarantee, no certainty. No one knows what kind of life an infant will have, yet people continue to have children. No one can know how life with our mates will turn out, yet we continue to have faith our relationships will last a lifetime.
Faith speaks the language of the heart. It is an expression of hope that goes beyond the conscious mind.
All that we hold precious rests upon a faith in people, their potential not yet fulfilled. The evidence of history points us in a different direction—the world is full of ugliness, brutality and injustices. Yet there is also tenderness, kindness and concern and that takes the bigger part of our hearts.
Without faith in ourselves we would hold ourselves cheap, and without a faith in others we could never live as free people. From faith in human beings flows trust and good will. This is the water that quenches parched souls.
Here is a famous parable: Once a traveler came across an old woman who was stooped over what appeared to be thin sticks. He asked the woman what she was doing.
“I am planting orange trees,” she explained.
The traveler thought this was a waste of her time.
“Why do you bother?” he asked. “You are an old woman. These saplings will take years before they will be old enough to bear fruit. You will be long gone by then.”
“True enough,” she answered. “But I don’t plant these trees for myself but for those who will come after me, just as those before me planted the trees that bear the fruit that I eat today.”