Could a Climber Scale a Mountain?
We often think of “faith” as something that a religious person believes without any “proof”. But if we waited for proof of a positive outcome before every action we took, we would be paralyzed by inaction. Every wedding, every birth, every friendship begun and every concert performed is a leap of “faith”. That theme is the basis of this song, which was partly inspired by the discussions at Wondercafe, an online bulletin board run for a few years by my national church. As you can imagine, there were a lot of challenges by non-believing visitors to the site, demanding “proof” of what Christians believe. There was even disagreement over what a "proof" was - how do you prove love, for instance? In the end, faith is a choice of what path we follow. Do we put our faith in a capricious and sometimes hostile universe or in a loving God that asks us to love, including even our “enemies”? Such a love is bound to disappoint and will be thought of as foolish. Shortly before the end of his life, Canadian politician Jack Layton wrote an open letter, the final sentences of which are loosely paraphrased in the third verse of this song. Although those words are not explicitly religious, they espouse what every religious person would endorse: despite setbacks, keep the faith – you can make the world a better place. There’s no proof that we can, but if we don’t work towards that goal, we only prove that we can’t.