Truth Goodkind was born with a superpower. She could see the truth around a person. To her, the truth followed people around and kept them honest. She had this ability all her life and it took her a while to realize that she was the only one who had it.
“There is no Santa Claus!” she insisted, once she was old enough to talk about it. “You’re going to put the presents out with Daddy! You’re not Santa Claus!”
It was why she never wanted to sit on Santa’s lap as a child, either.
Truth’s younger sister Faith was different.
If Faith ever had a superpower, it must have been that she believed in herself. And when she believed in herself, she could do anything.
Of course, it’s hard to know for sure how much Faith might have achieved, even as a child, because every step of the way, she had her older sister Truth looming over her shoulder behind her.
“Faith!” Truth bellowed when she found her sister on top of the house. “What are you doing? Get down from there!”
“I’m going to fly!” Faith called down to her.
“No, you’re not!” Truth yelled back without thinking. “There’s no such thing as flying, you’ll go splat like an egg or a kitchen plate!”
But even as Truth said this, something she knew to be true, she noticed Faith’s truth hovering around her. Faith’s truth confirmed her actions. As she said it, the truth was that Faith could fly. She would fly. And yet, once her sister Truth had spoken to her, the truth that followed her around changed.
Truth watched it change before her very eyes.
“Remember,” her parents always told her, “don’t ever tell your younger sisters about Santa Claus.”
The lie distressed her, but when she looked at her sisters, all of them, she saw the lie of Santa Claus become truth.
“Mommy,” Faith asked one day, “Tell me about God?”
Truth knew by now that her parents were atheists, so she listened intently. Her father watched her, too, which told her this was one of those times she should keep the truth quiet.
And as her mother told her little sister the theory of the existence of God, of what God represented in the Christian worldview and others, she saw that her mother’s truth never wavered, but Faith’s started to deepen, started to expand and include all other types of possibilities.
“But you lied to her!” Truth scolded her mother. “You don’t believe any of that God crap!”
“That doesn’t mean she’s not allowed to. I want Faith to make up her own mind on this issue, Truth. We don’t know. We don’t. We just believe.”
Of course, the price for the rest of them was that Faith became absolutely insufferable. She read the Bible cover to cover and treated it as though it were… well, the Bible.
“Rather than a poorly written piece of ancient literature,” Truth complained to her parents. “And now she’s harping on the littlest things, stupid things, and telling the rest of us that we’re going to hell!”
So the parents talked to Faith. “You know, sweetie,” their mother said, “not everyone believes in God. Or hell. Or sin. A lot of pepole think the Bible is just an ancient text.”
But Faith didn’t care about all of that. She knew what she knew and what she knew was what she believed. And what she believed was her truth.
Then there was Joy. Joy was the youngest of the Goodkind sisters. If Joy had a superpower, it was to always see the good in people and bring it out, no matter how long it took. There are those who say that this is the most important power of them all.
“Why do you keep correcting people?” she asked Truth one day while coloring.
“Because they’re wrong!”
“But they’re happy,” Joy pointed out. “Don’t you want them to be happy?”
“No,” said Truth. “I want them to be right.”
“But what does it matter what they think?”
But it did matter. Maybe not for most people, but int he case of Faith Goodkind, it certainly did. Because Truth was starting to think (based on evidence carefully gathered and curated) that if Faith was left to believe in a Christian God, then given enough time—given enough faith—she might be able to make that God real.
“And why would that be a bad thing?”
“Because,” Truth rounded on her obstinate middle sister, “the Christian God has been responsible for some terrible atrocities. Can we start with the plagues? Or wait—maybe go back farther, all the way back to the Garden! Or the Flood? And don’t start with your ‘Oh, but that was before Jesus’ crap—I know for a fact that you’ve read Revelations! And just look at his followers! The Crusades? The Witch Trials? The Inquisition?”
Everything that Truth said to Faith was hurtful at that time. But Truth wasn’t the only one speaking to her.
“What is it that you actually like about God?” asked Joy.
Faith thought about that for a while and decided, “What I like most is the idea of forgiveness. People spend too much time obsessing about Sin, about the Fire and Brimstone of it all. What I like about God is His capacity to forgive. Not just the little things, but the big ones, too. Anything, literally anything, can be forgiven. And He teaches us how.”
“As long as you agree to worship him,” Truth muttered from the corner.
“Maybe,” Faith conceded. “But if there was such a God, one who was willing to forgive unconditionally… Wouldn’t you want to worship that?”