Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1 (NRSV)
The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews doesn’t subscribe to the popular axiom that “seeing is believing.” On the contrary, for him faith is believing in that which cannot be seen.
I wouldn’t disagree with him, but I would add that I have seen enough in my life to confirm such a faith in things not seen.
I have witnessed enough lives changed by meeting Jesus in small group Bible studies to believe in God’s transforming power.
I have met enough Christian witnesses willing to walk with the disinherited, to fight city hall, to work tirelessly for justice and peace, and to go to jail, to believe in God’s empowerment for the good and the just.
I have encountered enough moral courage in the face of evil, and dignity in the face of death, to be convinced that a faith in that which is beyond understanding is not held in vain.
I have observed enough acts of forgiveness by those who have been wronged to be convinced that faith in the impossible can bestow humble and holy power.
I have glimpsed enough to be convinced that the things of God that are invisible have the power to transform lives, congregations, communities, and even societies.
I have never seen God, but I have seen enough!
Holy hidden One, you who reveal yourself to us in Jesus Christ, open our eyes of our hearts to recognize the ways you are working in us and through us and around us for the transformation of the world you love, and for which Christ died.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. and author of A Course In Basic Christianity and When I Survey the Wondrous Cross: Reflections on the Atonement. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.