At the victory banquet, Faith sits by unneeded. She does her work in the midst of the battle.
I hardly recognized her. First there had come by a lovely young woman, almost bouncing along from good health, animal spirits, and the anticipation of a special candlelight dinner that evening. How much I could have wished that this was she. But this was Happiness, and I was not looking for her.
Then came an older person, face calm and step deliberate, eyes hardly on the surroundings, apparently looking through or beyond them to something out of this immediate life. This, too, was not she; this was Meditation.
Now striding crisply along came a young man, head erect, back straight, clearly marked as Courage. But still he was not the one I was looking for.
Finally, in a long cloak, black and cowled, she came. As she slowly drew near, I saw tear stains on her face. This, I knew, was she; this was Faith.
How I recognized her is really hard to tell. I certainly had not had in mind such a vision. I had expected a strongly striding, victorious figure, with shoulders back and face aglow, ready to shout, “Victory! Hallelujah!” I had often sung that gospel song, “Faith Is the Victory.” I had listened to many a sermon and testimony about the glories and successes of faith. I had firmly in mind my stereotype of what Faith looked like, of her radiant face and bearing. To see Faith in this dark guise was outside my expectation.
But there she was, shuffling along. Why did she look like this?
Faith Before Triumph
This was Faith in a guise strange and unexpected to me, probably strange to all of us, for we all lean toward triumphalism. Only the grimmest realist can wholly escape that leaning. We all tend to overlook just what Faith looks like, to consider ...1
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