A world filled with fear
begs our faith to come closer
help me grow
for with trust I will see
the right in the wrong
the truth that perspective
alone must transform
for from deep faith and trust
a new world can be born
I believe in trust. I believe in truth. I believe that trust can build trustworthiness. I haven’t always managed to stand my ground nor has my trust always met with triumph but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. My trust in the basic innate goodness of every human being has at times been shaken but it’s all the stronger for it and I’m not naïve…
‘Trust God, but tie up your camel’
A story from the Sufi tradition
When I left for a two year teaching placement in Rwanda I wrote in my journal something like, ‘Here’s your chance universe! Shake me, test my rose tinted glasses because if I remain free from cynicism after this then I will stop testing it and trust that my faith in humanity’s basic goodness is solid and sure and a gift which I must use to serve the world.’
When I first began working at a street children’s centre there, I went in full of love, passion and idealism. These young men had never experienced being trusted and I wanted to give them that. I learned some valuable lessons in that first month and I lost a few camels but my love for and belief in these young men remained, despite my occasional wavering. Trust is an emotional muscle that needs to be exercised in order to strengthen and it might ache and hurt when you’ve been working it hard…but that’s how it gets stronger. If we trained it half as much as the athletes going for gold in London right now train their bodies, what a world we would have!
I remember once facing a painful decision that I took with me to a one week silent retreat, my first. There was a moment when the choice I faced hit me bang in the face and inside I was told what to do. I heard myself say, ‘But it’s such a risk!’ and received in reply, ‘What risk can there be when you are with me?’
We all have hunches, inner voices, intuition and messages from our hearts but do we listen? I followed through on that invitation and had probably the most important and challenging year of my life. I won’t say it was easy but neither do I regret it, not in the least.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” ~Blessed Mother Teresa
Yesterday I was on a walk and passed a bird viewing hut. I’ve lived in this area for seven years, have always known the hut was there but never until that moment had I had the time or inclination to make use of it. When I got closer I saw a notice explaining that the newly renovated hut was now locked to ensure that only genuine birdwatchers made use of it. There was a number to call to request the access code. At first I laughed because it made me ask myself if I was willing to declare myself a genuine birdwatcher, not being able to name much beyond pigeons, seagulls and robins. Is it enough to just enjoy watching feathers in flight? Then I felt something in me triggered. Similar limitations based on mistrust exist at every turn and instead of making me sad it now just fires me up. I’m determined to turn this tide of mistrust until openness flows and a fearless willingness to clean up after those who are not yet used to being trusted becomes so huge that eventually it’s no longer needed. I don’t expect any guarantees of success or a pain free journey but I’ll enjoy the adventure in the meantime and live my life knowing my rose tinted glasses are still working and I’m never going to give up.