A lead story in this morning’s news caught my eye. The question posed was, “Is Faith Necessary?” I couldn’t help but wonder how we got here. How, at some turn in the road, we became a generation of cynics addicted to the facts. Facts, facts, facts. Not that facts are bad. I am a scientist, so I am the first to admit their necessity and prominence in the human experience. They are the first mile marker in the journey toward all that is true.
But, facts are not enough. They have never been, and can only carry us so far before they lose their ability to speak. Facts can be true, and yet be just short of Truth.
Maybe that is what bothered me about the story, which I won’t go into. It assumed the two are opposed to each other and cannot exist together. Mutually exclusive.
I still ask the question myself, though I already know the answer. I answered it for myself many years ago. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and what I learned through it.
It was a study in human nature and the power of faith…and fact. I named it Project Showdown. The purpose of the study was to determine if 37 children living in an environment with no outside influence could develop a faith that could literally move mountains.
Twelve monks were installed as teachers, and the children were brought up with a vigorous curriculum that focused on writing. By age ten the students were capable of adult thinking and reasoning, but at an astonishing level.
Then something happened. Perhaps it would probably be more accurate to say that someone happened.
Marsuvees Black, a monk I hired who had a doubtful past. He disappeared without warning soon after I tried to rein him and his teachings in. He had retreated into the forbidden dungeons, to which place he soon lured one of the students. The boy began writing a story about a town called Paradise. The story opened the floodgates.
That’s when everything changed. Everything. What transpired afterward is the subject of debate, of course. Some say it was supernatural, others that the real story never came out.
But, the truth is, the facts could never go far enough in describing what happened in that monastery or in the town of Paradise. The answer lies on the other side of the facts, in the stories that were written in the Books.
The Books of History. Now, there is a fascinating subject. The “Genesis” of my own story, really. But, I’m getting ahead of myself since that is a discussion for another day. The point, my friends, is that the heart knows what the eyes cannot always see. Trust me, because my eyes have seen. So, trust them both--fact and faith--but know that faith knows the way better than his friend does.