Khalil Gibran, the famed Lebanese poet and writer, once spoke of faith as a transcendental sort of belief.
“Faith is a knowledge within the heart,” Gibran said, “beyond the reach of proof.”
Provided our parents were decent, encouraging human beings, we, as children, were all given the support to believe. To believe in beings of a higher, more charitable power. To believe in those child-friendly deities that gave us something to look forward to, particularly on holidays. Santa Claus. The Tooth Fairy. The Easter Bunny. Whether we wish to admit it now or not, we all believed in at least one of them.
Some of us maybe even believed in a somewhat lesser-known figure: the Great Pumpkin.
The Great Pumpkin, created by Charles M. Schulz for his “Peanuts” comic strip, is a holiday figure, presumably a giant pumpkin, that is said to visit the most earnest and hopeful of believers and reward their faith with candy and presents.
Linus van Pelt, one of the primary “Peanuts” characters is Schulz’s chosen “true believer.” No matter how many disappointing experiences he’s had in the past, Linus sits wide-eyed in the same pumpkin patch every Halloween and awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.
Sure, he’s laughed at by almost every other character, and sure, he’s disappointed every single year, but Linus, much like a certain ‘80s rock anthem, doesn’t stop believin’.
Some who have labeled Linus’s blind, unbreakable faith as a metaphor for modern Christian evangelism.
That may be true. Linus may just be a younger, less aggressive, more animated version of the Oak Grove Preacher, but does it really matter?
Hope is hope. Faith is faith. Who cares whom or what the recipient of those feelings are?
Growing up doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stop believing in the things that gave you hope as a child.
Sure, you may eventually be disappointed by these beliefs, but everybody’s bound to get a rock in their shoe every now and then.