I’m not a Buffy or Angel fanatic but I do follow the series, more or less. I like Faith, that character. I’ve thought about her even after the credits are rolling and the next show is starting. Of all the characters Faith has the least faith. She is distrustful and destructive. At least for awhile.
I’ve been thinking about faith, what that is and where it comes from and where it goes to. Kind of interesting. Having faith basically means believing in something without real proof that your belief is justified.
I once read about a woman who was charged with murder. She went through the trial and in the end the verdict was handed out as ‘Not proven’. That was something they used to do, ages ago. Not any more. But, it was interesting. For her and her life she always had that black cloud of suspicion hanging over her, not proven. Neither guilty or innocent, just some limbo.
Faith is like that too. If you take an idea to heart it’s hanging in limbo but if you have full faith in it it’s proven. If you are in doubt it’s not proven and you don’t have real faith, not blind, trusting faith anyway. There are levels of faith. I think that’s good. You shouldn’t close your mind to new theories, options and chances. Keep looking for more questions and their answers. Faith isn’t a permanent thing, written in blood or chiseled in stone. It’s subject to change.
The woman in the book had to live with people who were suspicious of her. She had trouble getting a job being allowed to go to church and being accepted by the community at all. It wasn’t fair, she wasn’t guilty after all. But, they didn’t have faith in her. They needed that final solid verdict to put her on one side or the other. you don’t get that with things you have faith in though. Pagans and Christians and all the other Faiths don’t get to see their gods or the heaven or hell they put faith in. We don’t get a preview or screenshot. It’s taken on faith.
But, it comes from within you more than something you read or are told. It has to seem realistic and practical, possible. We don’t put faith in something completely out there. Faith is too precious to just give away so easily.
Now that I’ve rambled on and on… the woman in the book did finally get her verdict of innocent. But, it came late in her life. Someone else confessed when they were dying and wanted to get all the skeletons out of their closet.
Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, February, 2, 2004.