It was no shallow optimism. There was a confidence, bordering on absolute certainty, that free men would eventually be victorious. The more he saw, the more he was convinced that this rock-like stability came from a God-given faith, from something they really believed.
The book, This I Believe, was a compilation of testimonies, simple statements from the people about the things which gave hope and meaning to their lives.
What would you say? If Edward R. Murrow should request you to write down your belief, what would it be? Could you say, “This I believe,” and express a faith big enough for all life and, if necessary, big enough for death?
The Apostle Paul said, “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him.” Can you say it? Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven.” Jesus said that God knows our every need even before we ask, and that he will take care of us. Can you say, “This I believe?”
To a certain hospital a little boy of five was taken for surgery. At last all was in readiness and they prepared to administer the anesthetic. It would not hurt at all, the nurse explained; he would merely go to sleep.
“But before I go to sleep I always say my prayers. Could I say my prayers?” Yes, he could say his prayers. And there in the operating room, while the men and women in white stood by, a little boy of five clasped his hands, closed his eyes, and prayed, “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take. Amen.”
The prayer over, the masks adjusted, and the operation was under way. But the doctors and nurses there that day had witnessed something they would not soon forget.
Through the eyes of a little boy, they had looked up into the face of God. They had seen a vital, living faith which said, “This I believe!”
Rev. Nichols is pastor emeritus of First Christian Church of Temple. He writes religious columns for several Central Texas newspapers and is compiling a book of his writings.