92: Walk on Faith

92: Walk on Faith

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Country Music

Walk on Faith

Story by Mike Reid

Song written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin

Recorded by Mike Reid

I never made a decision to pursue a career in music. After I decided to quit playing football when I left the Cincinnati Bengals, I didn’t know what I was going to do for a living. I started playing and singing at clubs in the Cincinnati area and eventually moved to Nashville. The first real hit I wrote was a song called “Inside” for Ronnie Milsap and later I won a Grammy for Ronnie’s recording of “Stranger in My House” in 1983.

In 1990, I wrote “Walk on Faith” with Allen Shamblin. He brought the idea in one day and we wrote it together. It’s the kind of song that encourages people to hang in there through tough times, whether it’s in a marriage or from a spiritual perspective. There’s no really great story to tell about it, as far as a story behind the song, but this one has a very touching story after the song.

I ended up recording that song on an album of mine called Turning for Home in 1991. The label put it out as a single and it hit #1 and was there for a couple of weeks. So I went out on the road opening up for K.T. Oslin and Kathy Mattea at the time. We were up in the Northeast somewhere. After the shows, we would line up and sign autographs for people or sign their CDs. And there was a girl — she couldn’t have been more than 20 or 21 — who came through the line that night. When she came through, she was carrying a baby. I asked her name before I signed the CD. I wrote her name and then wrote, “Walk on Faith.”

After I signed her CD, she thanked me and then she looked at me and said, “I just want you to know that song is the reason I decided to keep this baby.” It was a startling moment for me. There wasn’t much I could say, so I just stood up and gave her a hug.

I’ve thought about that night a lot since then, because that baby today would be close to 20 years old. I don’t know if songs really make people do things one way or another, but I believe the power of a song lies in its ability to help people identify important things inside them that they have lost touch with.

I just did a show with Billy Dean and Gary Nicholson out in Napa Valley and there was fellow there who was a hugely successful winemaker. He came up to us afterward and he said, “What you songwriters do is remind us what we feel. For us, our lives are usually about marketing and strategies and that kind of thing,” he said, “and when we sit down on a night like this and listen to songs like these, you help remind us of things we feel, and have felt, but have forgotten.” That’s about the most wonderful thing for someone to say to a songwriter.

Walk on Faith

We have come to this place in our love

Where faith must be stronger than fear

For if true love is our destination

Through every storm it must always be clear

The surest way to get there from here (is to)

CHORUS:

Walk on faith

And trust in love

Just keep on putting one foot down

In front of the other

When the valley’s so wide

We stumble in stride

And everything inside wants to give up

Walk on faith and trust in love

Farther on beyond the shadows of our doubt

We will live where true love never dies

Though the road we must travel is uncertain

There is a truth in our hearts that never lies

It is by such grace we are bound to arrive

CHORUS

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