To walk by faith, to live by faith, is not to believe things to be true by hook or crook, or to hope really, really, quite a lot that something is or will be the case.
This is what was lost on Protestantism.
To walk, live, be a person of faith is to admit that each new step one takes is one made in ignorance. It is a step into the complete unknown in order that something new may become known. That next step cannot have the breath of comfort breathed into it from past experience; trust in God here has no other bearing than to say that whatever the next step brings, be it misery, suffering, death, or joy, it will serve some purpose. That ought not bring any measure of ease in actually taking that next step.
To be of faith in any meaningful sense then, isn’t to think wild thoughts and mandate they are true. Instead, it is to have the deliberate, determined thought of doing something wild by venturing into the unknown completely unprepared and ill-equipped, one step at a time. So then to truly understand a person of faith in this way, from the outside, is to start with the question of why they continue to walk by faith.
It’s not really any mystery as to why someone may take an initial step or two in faith. The real mystery would be why they would continue to when it should eventually be obvious it’s not paying off. The moment of pause for the onlooker would be to think that this faithful person isn’t insane but rather just like I am, because that’s more likely the case than not. At that point, any interlocutor must at least by benefit of the doubt or in a principle of charity think something very tangible and meaningful exists in this practice of stepping out into mystery, the kind that often gets named “God” but can only genuinely be known in the relationship between humanity and the world, the good.
Just a thought.