There are a lot of themes throughout the series and in Untrained Eye but faith is one of the most integral.
It’s a busy word, isn’t it?
There’s the obvious connection between faith and religion, yes, but faith is more than just about people who visit buildings. It’s what’s inside.
There’s so much it inspires. Faith in your abilities, in your ability to make a difference. Faith and belief often are the difference between a champion and a runner up in sport. The skill, the experience, the technique the same but faith can’t be taught. The faith in yourself. Aeron had to learn to have faith in herself but she had to learn to accept herself first. Not an easy task.
Faith in other people helps even the most wobbly of us to find enough inside to try something new, go after a dream or to reach out when we need a friendly face, a hand to hold, or just a smile. Faith in others inspires one of the hardest, most fleeting and fragile things of all… trust.
Of course I explored a bit about trust in… er… Blind Trust but sometimes, even with all the will, having trust in someone isn’t always easy. That’s where faith comes in, the faith to want to trust someone. It counts for a lot, especially in situations that Aeron, Renee and Frei have found themselves in.
Then there’s a whole other side of faith. The faith to keep fighting in spite of the odds. A faith that is probably the hardest to find and hold onto. The faith not to give up, to keep smiling, keep laughing, regardless of whether the battle is one you will win or lose. That faith underpins courage, breathes life into a heavy heart and gives you the strength to keep going, to stand your ground.
In Untrained Eye, that little word with a lot of power, plays a big role. Aeron, Renee and Frei’s paths haven’t been smooth. It’s a book that takes you deeper into their lives, into their characters, into what battles they fight and what makes them who they are.
I’ve been deliberate in the strands I’ve been sewing and ones I’ve left loose. Things aren’t always neat. Sometimes life is… as Sarah Waters would phrase it… messy.
People aren’t always easy to love. They don’t always do things that you understand or like. One of the characters did just that during Untrained Eye. In fact they were set on testing every character around them.
I had to have the faith to follow their thread. Sometimes a character will need to lead you in another direction. Some writers don’t work that way but I do. I find that more often than not they seem to know what they need to do and better than I do… Says a lot about me, huh?
Whether or not the characters around them kept faith in them… well you’ll have to read it to find out!
Another way to look at it is maybe that faith is the key between being held captive by a situation or remaining free in spite of it. We can’t always control or change the situations we find ourselves in. Aeron in Serenity for instance. She’s behind bars, she’s battered, beaten and hurt by her circumstances. Yet, inside her remains that small slither of faith, of spirit, that drives her on. It keeps her from giving up. When someone in particular wanders in, that faith is ignited… albeit quietly, slowly… it builds in her, helping her to become the still wobbly and unsure, yet brave woman we spend time with in Blind Trust. That faith will have to hold her steady in Untrained Eye but she has to focus, like we all do, or soon we are locked up by circumstance once more.
Faith. It’s a beautiful, complex and profound word. It makes the difference, holds you steady, it can even give you the courage to smile when it hurts.
I hope it’s a word that resonates with you too. I hope that it shines through Untrained Eye and in all my work. Thing is, faith is one of those things that’s hard to explain… but then isn’t that much of its definition?
Faith – Belief in something without need for the burden of proof.
Faith – Believing in the possibility to overcome challenges and circumstance.
Faith – Believing even in that which you cannot see.
Faith + Belief + Courage = Smiling.
I’m not one for equations but that one holds true.