上海外国语大学陈一帆：Draw a Picture of Our Faith
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I have a story. In a drawing class, the teacher came to a little girl. “What are you drawing, honey?” “A picture of God.” “But nobody knows what God looks like.” The girl blinked, “They will know in a minute.”
To the little girl, the God, her faith is not an abstraction, but a vivid picture.
My serious quest for the meaning of faith began with a life-changing journey in Pakistan. By the beautiful lake behind the house where I stayed, my Pakistani friends had their favorite question—“What’s your faith?” I just gazed into the serene and clear lake. I didn’t have the answer to this abstract concept.
To many people like me, faith is beyond description, always floating in the thin air. We cannot tell or describe it, so we assume that we don’t know or have it, until finally it fades away from our memory.
But why does faith have to be an abstract concept? Why not, like the little girl, draw a picture of faith? Bill Gates and his wife have the faith to cure malaria in Africa. To keep their faith alive, they draw in their mind a picture of a happy African mother holding a healthy baby. And Henry David Thoreau retired from the madding crowd and found his Walden. And that image of his faith was still with him when he finally reemerged from nature.
We need to make our faith concrete and solid so that it can truly make a difference in our life. Our society is sometimes a massive devouring ocean. We are so much seduced by the siren of fame and money, that our ship of faith is often wrecked on its rocks. Yet faith is so badly needed by us the young to navigate in this world of change.
I sat by the lake. This static lake is just like faith itself in my eyes, permanent in the ever-changing world. Then came to me the answer to the question of “What is my faith?”. My faith is this lake – it is the picture of my faith.
When desperate, I come to my lake to find the faith in my heart that embraces calmness and tranquility. And I can feel the ripples of life spreading over my heart. When confused, I come once more to my lake to find my faith in my heart that is so clear and crystal like a mirror, a mirror that I can see my true self.
Ladies and Gentleman, draw a picture of our faith like the little girl. Through the image, faith will turn into something clear and close, something that we can see, feel and touch. It will answer our call when we need it, and forever perch in our soul. Thank you.