The truth that lets us trust—and be trusted

DSC_0026“This may be a little out of the box, so trust our brother.” Our pastor spoke the words as the Cree chief with the strong and gentle face ascended to the pulpit to give the benediction.

Trust our brother. . . Trust. . . Trust. The word has been echoing through my hours. So simple. Yet trusting and receiving trust might be the hardest things we’ll ever do.

I stood at the door ten days ago and spoke words to a friend that showed how little I still really trust her. My words surprised me, hurt me. Her too, I think. I trust her more than I trust most other people. But somehow, somewhy, I still didn’t trust her love enough to let her wash my dishes, nor enough to relax into her trust of me. I don’t understand my struggle. But I am very sad, and very sorry.

This I do know: my challenge on the human plane mirrors my challenge with God. (I suspect this is always the case.) I think I trust Him, and then fear floods in and I see all over again how little I really do. I struggle even more to receive His trust of me.

He trusts me. He. Trusts. Me. He trusts me? It’s something I’ve been wrestling with for years. I’ve wondered whether it’s even true: the Bible repeats again and again that we’re to trust God, but where does it say that He trusts me? But when I asked, I saw the little word, the repeated refrain: entrusted, entrusted, entrusted1. Over and over, God entrusts Himself, His heart, His most precious truths to His people. Entrusted, entrusted. . . The list of verses ends with this: “. . . the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 3) All who are His. Once for all. Trusted to be entrusted with God’s most precious gifts. There’s no doubt: God trusts His people.

But why? Why would God trust us? There aren’t many moments when it’s obvious why He would trust me. But I’ve asked Him to explain, and this is what I hear: Like God’s love and His mercy, His trust is rooted in His character and ability, not in mine. Our Creator is creative enough and strong enough and wise enough that He can take my five crumbly loaves and feed thousands, incorporate my scratches on the page into His grand story, and weave my mistakes and even my sin into a design more glorious than it would have been without my failure. As a friend reminded me last week, “For every plan A that fails, God has a plan A+ that is far better. God does not do plan B.” (Christophe Ulysse)

God’s trust is rooted in His ability, not a mistaken assumption about mine, so I can receive God’s trust as the gift that it is rather than as a burden, an expectation or an obligation that leaves me fearing I’ve failed before I’ve even begun. His trust isn’t an expectation that I get it all right, but a celebration of His love and a declaration of His desire to have me as a genuine co-creator with Him, a fellow worker, other, weak—and wanted. There’s freedom here, to explore and to create, to try and to fail and to get up and try again. And to love Him who so loves us.

“Trust our brother.” Christ’s fellow-worker, and ours, to whom, along with us, the faith has been entrusted, prays over us a benediction, first in his native Cree and then in English. When our failure and sin is too great to be forgotten, God’s ability is the only possibility for trust between people. A God gentle enough to teach us that repentance means more than regret. A God loving enough to burn away our fear of difference.

Another brother circles the sanctuary, wafting over us the smoke of sweetgrass in purification and blessing, his prayers and ours rising with the rising smoke to our one Creator who risks trusting us, and teaches us to trust each other.

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I’m still marvelling over the grace our aboriginal brothers and sisters have extended to us. Read this post and marvel again with me? Between Truth and Reconciliation

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1Matt 25:14; Luke 12:48; 16:11; Rom 3:2; 6:17; 1 Cor 9:17; 2 Cor 5:19; Gal 2:7; 1 Thes 2:4; 1 Tim 1:11; 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14; Tit 1:3; Jude 3

5 thoughts on “The truth that lets us trust—and be trusted

  1. momfan says:

    “God’s trust is rooted in His ability, not a mistaken assumption about mine;…..a celebration of His love and a declaration of His desire to have me as a genuine co-creator with Him, a fellow worker, other, weak—and wanted.” These words challenged me again today with my lack of trust in God’s ability to make me – and others – all He wants us to be!! Thanks once again, Love!

  2. Wow! Profound and challenging, and yet exciting. Do you think this means that we are called to trust others, who perhaps are not really “worthy” of trust in our eyes, in order to be like God???

    • Great question, Bonita, and one that challenges me. I don’t think we’re called to randomly trust everyone in every situation—wisdom and discernment do have an important role. But I do think there’s a lot more room for trust and grace and openness to difference and second chances than I’m typically comfortable with. This is one of those places I need to keep asking God to let me hear His heartbeat, and to help me trust Him when that involves stepping outside of my comfort zone and trusting others.

  3. Klara van der Molen says:

    beautiful, Carolyn, beautiful. The brother who spoke the blessing and his wife were baptized in the same service as I was, such joy!! And I could not stop crying at the blessing! The word reconciliation is a powerful one! I loved the speaker Terry Le Blanc who described the circle, the way to look back to find your way home and I noticed the quilt on the left– the circle with the dove– what an awesome reminder of so much. That, plus the 3rd tree– How great is our God ( song)!

  4. Nancy Stack says:

    wonderful & rich.. thought provoking.. as usual! thanks for the gift!

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