Here’s something I should probably give a little more time, but I’m dashing it off anyway. The post I have been working on is turning into a book, so I am going to have to do something about that as well.
Maybe the kids I hung out with were a little weird, but we made a definite distinction between “pretend” and “make-believe”. Pretend was easy. “Pretend you are a Pirate”, or “Pretend my back yard is the moon’. Simple, for a kid. Make-believe was a whole ‘nother degree of difficulty. When we started a sentence with “Make believe ...”, it was understood that this was going to be a two-part project. First came the “make” part. We would sit and listen to an elaborate scenario, adding whatever exciting thoughts came to mind to make the story better.
A typical example might go, “Make believe the Germans (Hitler’s army) are right over that hill, and the ground drops away on the other side so we can’t see them” (It didn’t)
“Oh! and Mr. Genthner’s fence is really barbed wire!” (Split rail)
“And we have to stop them before they blow up the convoy that will be coming up Chestnut Street in 10 minutes!” (or whenever the next passing car supplied the sound effects.)
“And they have mortars and they’re shooting at us!” (Totally imaginary, but a passing bird might get labeled “MESSERSCHMITT!”)
And so on, until we agreed upon the whole elaborate scenario. And then we would play, pretending
for as long as the game lasted. If it was a really exciting day, we might go home, and dream about what we had done to win the war. The dream might mix in a healthy dose of stock black and white footage from “Combat” or “The Rat Patrol” or a number of other TV shows. This was life before computer and video games fed you the whole story, but it’s not much different in the end.
I think it is this ability for the human mind to see things that only exist in the head, and solidify those daydreams by actually dreaming about them, that is responsible for Faith, or belief without proof. Next time someone invites you to “believe”, imagine the word “make” in front of that proposal and see if it still makes sense.