The problem with trust is the darkness. You can’t see the thing, the person, the idea in which you trust. You can’t know from seeing or touching that the thing is really there. It’s the feeling of faith.
The dark and dismal presence without presence. The felt and known but somehow unseen. Faith–in a walk or a life or a relationship–stretches you. It makes you into someone you haven’t been because it calls from you things you’ve never done.
And when you like knowing things, when you like having all the answers, the hardest thing to do is live by faith. To live by a trust that the thing, even when you can’t see it, is the thing that is most real. It isn’t blind as much as it’s respecting the presence of the yet-to-be-visible, the thing that is even when it hasn’t come.
Oh, the existence of living as a trusting person can make you think you’re insane. You’re not insane, of course. You’re a person living by faith. You’re a person learning how to trust in the day to day. You’re feeling the rub between your comfort and future.
It’s funny to hear people say, when describing me to others, “He’s a man of faith.” Because a lot of time, I’m the farthest thing from it. Fundamentally I think everyone trusts in something(s). I trust that words will write from my hands, that I’ll study and have things to say or teach at the appropriate time, that friends of mine will like me, that my wife will be home later today. I trust those things. So trusting is normal, common. And yet, there’s a sinister darkness on the bottom of that trust. The part of me that never really feels comfortable in the unknown world created by trust. Perhaps that makes no sense at all.
Whether writing or loving or working or listening, it’s so much easier living in the realm of the noticeable, the world of the visible. What helps you live by faith–in your work or your life?
Faith can also be seen as shining my light in the darkness. And trust can mean the absence of fear.
Indeed, Byron. The absence of fear and the acknowledgement of it in the presence of something else. I think that absence of fear is a growing experience. I think it’s often there. I’m tempted to opine that fear is always there, that’s it is so much a part of essential humanness. At least humanness on this side of sin and evil’s grand introduction into the human experience. But I take your point. Trust is that absence, that growing and increasing absence of fear. I’m reminded of a verse that says where there is love, there is no fear. Love and trust are twins, aren’t they?
Thanks for the comment. I always appreciate when you share something.
Loved this commentary, loved this post. I’ve found myself reading the second through fourth paragraphs again and again. Beautiful. Thank you so much, Michael…
You’re welcome, Alissa. Thanks for reading the post, commenting on it, and coming to the blog.
This totally makes sense to me. For me, that sinister dark place is a ridiculously overactive imagination that is the culprit, and not necessarily actual past experiences. One of my biggest challenges is to live inside what IS rather than what could potentially be, and to realize that the darkness at the bottom of my trust is nothing but vapors born by too many books, movies, and news bites using extraordinary drama to capture attention.
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