In religious circles, “trust talk” most often revolves around having faith that life will look after us. For instance, our Christian friends sing hymns about God “watching over us” and keeping “an eye on the sparrow.” Our Jewish friends lift up the Exodus story to encourage faith that God will help us make our way even when things look bleak. Likewise, prayer practice for our Muslim friends is all about reminding oneself that you are in Allah’s safe hands. We UUs translate similar sentiments using the language of trusting “a Love that will not let us go.”
This call to trust Life’s support comes to us as a gift. After all, it’s all too easy to convince ourselves that life is a foe. So we need our faith communities to restore our faith that life is ultimately a friend. We need the reassurance. We need to know that when we fall, we can count of being picked up.
But what about being pushed? Don’t we need to count on that too? A Love that won’t let us go is essential, but isn’t it just as important to have faith in a Love that won’t let us get too comfortable? Especially as we welcome in Black History Month, we certainly don’t want to forget about a Love that disturbs. We need a Love that promises to not let privilege remain hidden and unsettles those who have it. A Love that tells those of us who are marginalized and tired, “I won’t let your pain be ignored.”
And just when that call to trust seems the one we all need to listen to, another voice adds itself to the mix. This one telling us to trust that it’s not all up to us. That sometimes it’s ok to rest. That doesn’t disturb but instead assures us that we can let go. That tells us to trust that we can – for a while – put the work down because others are ready to pick it up, knowing that we will be there to pick it up when rest calls to them.
- So, friends, where does that leave us?
- What is it?
- Trust life to pick us up?
- Trust life to push and poke us?
- Trust that it’s ok to put the work down for a while?
- It is all of them, of course. And more.
But maybe it’s mostly about trusting that we’ll know which call is right for us. Maybe it’s about having faith in ourselves and not letting anyone tell us what we need to trust.
There’s no one message this month after all. Everyone’s heart is wrestling with a loss of faith in its own way. The trust you need to repair is likely different than mine. What we both long for is safe space. Space to say how hard that work of repair is. Space to say how much it hurts to have to repair it in the first place.
So let’s remember that above all. And prove, this month, that we all can be trusted to offer each other that precious space.
Theme Packet for Families
Books/Readings of Sanctuary
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli, Author; Paul Yalowitz, Illustrator.
“One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”” – Amazon
Here’s an activity you can engage in as you get the kids ready for bed, tucking them in for the night. You can think of them as your daily Valentines during this time period. Pose the question, “What were the three best moments of the day?” Write them on hearts you place into a jar, collecting them for those moments when your spirit needs a lift, trusting that the message will be right for you in that moment.
“Sifting back through the hours, I make my choices and savor them. I carry them with me into drowsiness and finally to that place the brain goes at night, where it runs on silence and dream images.” – from the author, Barbara Kingsolver”
Nothando’s Journey by Jill Apperson Manly (Author), Alyssa Casey (Illustrator)
“NOTHANDO’S JOURNEY is a journey in self-discovery, told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando. The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando’s country of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando and her brother venture into the unknown hills, in order to get to the festival on time. As Nothando explores the hills of Swaziland, she visits with various animals–Nothando moves freely with the animals and begins to become comfortable with who she is.” – Amazon. The video is great!
 Image: “Heart Bokeh 2″ by Lee Ann L. is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0