Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Do you remember learning to swim? Perhaps you jumped from the side of the pool into someone’s arms. Someone who loved you. Someone who cared for you. That was faith.
As an adult, I find faith to be very similar. God, like a parent, loves me and cares for me. So I believe. So I hope. The difference is, as an adult, faith is more like a leap from a cliff than a pool, more like I’m standing alone and though I believe God is present, I can’t see or hear God. Faith was a challenge as a child by the pool and as an adult in life. Drowning, death, loss, powerlessness are all present. As a child and adult, faith is a leap. Poet W.H. Auden looks deep into the leap of faith.
Leap Before You Look by W.H. Auden
The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.
Tough-minded men get mushy in their sleep
And break the by-laws any fool can keep;
It is not the convention but the fear
That has a tendency to disappear.
The worried efforts of the busy heap,
The dirt, the imprecision, and the beer
Produce a few smart wisecracks every year;
Laugh if you can, but you will have to leap.
The clothes that are considered right to wear
Will not be either sensible or cheap,
So long as we consent to live like sheep
And never mention those who disappear.
Much can be said for social savoir-faire,
But to rejoice when no one else is there
Is even harder than it is to weep;
No one is watching, but you have to leap.
A solitude ten thousand fathoms deep
Sustains the bed on which we lie, my dear:
Although I love you, you will have to leap;
Our dream of safety has to disappear