Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Yesterday, I wrote about trust as a daddy issue that had become a Father issue without my even realizing it.  The more I've let that post ruminate in my heart, the more I've been thinking about trust in general.  Have you ever really considered what trust is?

It's kind of the back-up plan.

Trust is that thing you have to find when you've run out of yourself, when you've gone as far as you can go, when you've come face-to-face with your own limitations.  Trust is that risk you have to take when you discover that you're not enough but the result is too much to give up on.  Trust is that thing that you cannot do yourself.

Think about it.  If I can do this whole thing by myself, then what do I need you for?  Nothing.  And if I don't need you, it doesn't matter whether or not I trust you.  I've got this.  On the other hand, when I run up against something bigger than my greatest strengths and abilities, I have to find someone or something I believe has the complement to my weaknesses and, sight unseen (because I have never seen you in this particular situation before), I have to hand part of this bigger thing over to you in trust.  Because such big things are not worth walking away from.

That's why all of the greatest trust exercises center around a deficit.  You're blindfolded; you have to rely on someone else for what you cannot see.  It's a hindrance to you that makes you depend on that trust.  You're falling; you can't catch yourself.  For something you cannot do, you have to trust someone else.  We build trust around our empty places.  

Which is why, I think, trust is so hard and so sobering.  It is inherently based upon our own weaknesses.  It is based on our limitations, our deficits, our shortcomings.  It comes from the places where we are compromised.  That means that when we risk to trust, we are both acknowledging our own vulnerabilities as well as putting our faith in something outside of our control.  It's running out and letting go all at the same time.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.  It's important, I think, to understand the place where you run out of yourself, where you've given all you've got and there's more to do, where there's something beyond you and you can't help but understand on a tangible level all of the things that you're not.  It's sobering, but it's also humbling.  It keeps a man from thinking too much of himself, this whole trust issue.

At the same time, in letting go you are actually affirming something in someone else.  As defeating and difficult as it is to admit that we can't do it, have you considered what it means to the one we trust to tell him that he can?  It shows him his strength.  It shows him his capabilities.  It energizes in him this passion for what he can do and ignites in him a fire for what God has created in him, this thing that you see in him that has made you trust him....this thing that maybe he cannot see in himself.

Trust is a beautiful thing, even in those terrifying moments when it doesn't feel like it.  Even in that last little step where you're trying to climb into the boat.  Even in that last gasp of air before you set sail and there's nothing left to tie you to land.  Trust reminds you where you stop and where something bigger begins.  Trust invites you into the affirmation of that something bigger, whether that is the strength of another man or the grace of God or whatever it is in that moment that answers your empty spaces.  And as in the cycle of all things, if you live an honest life and a life with integrity, trust comes back to you where maybe you least expect it and reminds you of your strengths when someone or Someone brings you into their something bigger.

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