February’s theme is trust.
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.
Excerpt from the Soul Matters Curriculum