In his second letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul tells us that, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” It’s a lovely summary of the Christian life. We see the world around us, as anyone else does, and we can learn to understand it according to conventional categories—political, cultural, economic, etc.
But as Christians, our primary orientation is not given by reason; it’s given by faith. And this has nothing to do with irrationality or credulity. It has to do with an appreciation of God and the movement of God—precisely in and through all of the conventional events perceived in the conventional manner.
Sometimes it is exceedingly hard to see what God is doing. But we trust. It might happen slowly and in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence, but God is always acting. From the smallest beginnings can come the accomplishment of God’s purpose.
Jesus makes much the same point: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how” (Mark 4:26-27).
God is working, though we can’t see it with our eyes and our ordinary categories.