Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.
Someone said that to me on the phone this morning, and as it's a line from one of the best holiday films of all time, I immediately agreed. Agreed even though this man works in a business where faith seems patently counter-intuitive (the stock market) and that I've had an awful lot of dumb, blind faith lately for someone who works in advertising, faith that's jumped all over me like some sadistic heavyweight boxer with a grudge.
But after all, what does common sense actually get us?
It tells us not to talk to strangers. And then we miss things like true love. Or that soul mate Charlotte spoke of.
Or some honestly terrific conversation once we discover he/she/the stranger isn't as creepy as we originally thought.
It tells us not to judge a book by it's cover. And when the cover is inordinately well-designed, that's just idiotic.
It tells us to stand in the shorter line when history tells us the shorter line is always going to get slower the moment
we join it.
It makes us surly and boring and common, common sense does, and no fun at parties.
And it tells us we can't make a difference in this world. A difference of twenty dollars to a cause we believe in. A difference of taking a working vacation and volunteering while we travel. A difference of saying no sometimes when we mean no, and yes when we believe yes, taking a chance, being who we wish to be. A difference of rescuing just one animal who desperately needs a home. Not all of them. Just one. One child, one person, one animal, one difference.
It may feel like the least we can do; sometimes it's actually the most.
I don't believe in God, not at all, not even a little. Although every time a fox hole comes up, I say the words out loud.
In case I'm wrong and somebody is listening. In case even the stars pay attention now and then.
Faith doesn't require anyone listening at all. That's pretty much the beautiful thing about it.