A couple of people (who just happen to be my awesome dad and my lovely wife) have questioned in their comments what this phrase from my last post means. Rather than respond in the comments, I will do it in a post so that everyone can easily find it if they are interested. Maybe it will open up a new forum of conversation.
I have an idea of what I think it means, and it is very pertinent to the change that I have undergone in 2007, as is much of the poem. I really like the phrase immediately before this one in the same section. This year has brought about the experience of having to disappoint another in order to be true to myself. I know very much what that feels like. It felt lonely when I had to make the decision to do it. And it still hurts a little, especially when I realize that this someone doesn’t really understand my honest explanation for why it had to happen. So I am living the experience of this verse, and it makes sense to me because of that.
“…faithless and therefore trustworthy…” to me takes this concept a little farther. Too often, we humans mindlessly fall onto a path of belief for any number of reasons. For a quadrazillion reasons actually. And we don’t often think through why we may believe certain things or not believe other things. This is exactly partly where I found myself, now nearly a year ago, and wanted desperately to get off that path. It is part of the fuel behind the radical change of 2007. I have said that I wanted to own my faith, that I wanted to know why I believe what I believe, that I didn’t want to just in blind faith follow what was handed down to me. It needed to be mine. It is what prompted me to read the God Delusion by Dawkins and Mere Christianity by Lewis. It is what prompted me to explore.
I think “faithless” here refers to an individual who is not blindly prescribing to a system of belief without having thoroughly examined it. In essence they are faithless not because they have no faith, but because they have owned their faith and made it something that is unique to them. They are not subscribing fully to a set school of thought or belief system. Instead they have thought through it and taken bits of this school of thought and have owned it, and they have taken bits of that school of thought and have owned that, and they have maybe even come up with some of their own ideas. So faithless refers to someone who is owning their own faith, not just picking up some mantra of some other established faith and joining the masses. That is they way I want my faith to be.
So by being faithless in this sense, one has separated one’s self out as someone who thinks for themselves rather than someone who without forethought follows a system of belief just because it was passed off to them or handed to them. This sort of person can be seen as more trustworthy than the one who just jumps on whatever bang wagon is near. That is how I interpret “…faithless and therefore trustworthy…”