Preachers and spiritual writers commonly speak of the life of faith.  Familiarity with that phrase may obscure an important truth about faith.  Faith is not a once and for all act.  It is a life and as such it is subject to change.  It can grow.  It can weaken.  It must be protected and nourished.

Because the object of faith is God, who is incomprehensible, faith remains something of a mystery.  Nevertheless there are certain things important to know about faith.  Faith does not abolish the dull ordinariness of life, the disappointments, setbacks, the tears. Faith does, however, see all of that in a new way.  That is why we speak of the eyes of faith. Through faith we gain new vision, a new way of looking at things.  Having “eyes of faith” means having a distinct a special perspective on reality.  And perspective makes all the difference.

Virtually everything we encounter can be perceived or interpreted on various levels.  No new discovery, no new method will ever give final victory to one interpretation over another.  What is decisive on all those levels is not merely knowledge but a certain insight, getting the focus right.

Even on a purely natural level we know the importance of eyes that really see, that see beyond the surface of things.  Many people saw steam rise from the lid of a kettle. Only James Watt went on to see a steam engine.  Many people saw an apple fall from a tree. Only Isaac Newton went on to see the law of gravity.

We can very much make our lives happy or sad by the way we look at things.  What do you see when you look at your life?  Do you see only hostile forces, troubles, difficulties?  Or do you see the world as basically good and friendly?  Do you see challenges or difficulties, opportunity rather than trouble?

How you see yourself shapes the vision of everything else.  Your self-image dictates your view of everything else.  Seeing yourself with the eyes of faith means seeing yourself as loved by God.  You see yourself realistically i.e. as a sinner, but a sinner washed in the blood of Christ, loved and valued by God so much that he sent his son to save you and bring you to share in his own life.  There is great strength in honestly facing one’s sinfulness, one’s brokenness  and at the same time having such faith in God’s love and mercy as to be well-balanced, serene, even happy.