When I was maybe eight or nine years old, my father showed me a glass jar on which he had written the word trust many times. He put the jar in a paper bag, closed it, and handed me a hammer. You already know what happened next. I followed his instruction and broke the jar. He said that once trust is broken, it’s impossible to put it back together.
A truth of being human, however, is that our trust is always broken, from the day we are born. A baby trusts implicitly that its needs will be met, it cannot do otherwise, but it is impossible for a baby’s family to meet all of its needs in every moment. The baby will cry. The baby will be disappointed. The baby’s trust will be broken.
We are born able to trust. But, trust is the most fragile of things, and our ability to trust is tested all of the time. Gaining experience in life inherently comes with disappointment. We disappoint ourselves. Others disappoint us. Those we love, whom we trust the most, will let us down in some way at some point.
And yet, this month we ask ourselves, “What does it mean to be a people of trust?” How do we dare to trust when our lives indicate that it will be broken? As we consider trust, we enter the realm of faith, as well. Without faith, we are incapable of trust.
I hope that you will spend time considering these questions with me this month. And, I hope that you will also wonder about how trust is inherent in the work that we do together being a religious community. May your wonderings be blessed, and may you find deeper meaning in the questions.