Friday, October 8, 2010

"I don't know much, but that I trust You..."

"Look at this soul
Still searching for salvation,
I don't know much
But I know I love you
And that may be
All I need to know..."

Aaron Neville's "
Don't Know Much," is filled with such a sweet sense of longing, devotion, and surrender. And its a message that touches me very deeply.  I can't help but think that Neville's well-documented love for God has brought spiritual depth to his interpretation of these lyrics.  And although it's considered a classic love ballad, I always think of it as a song of pure faith.

For me, this week has been all about discovering what it means to really 
trust -- and be trusted.  I have come to believe that "trust" - given and received - is the truest indicator of genuine love. 

I remember when my daughters were babies. They would surrender themselves completely into our care, falling soundly and peacefully asleep in our arms.

And I am even more humbled by the example of trust  that each of our daughters' birthmothers showed in entrusting us with the day-to-day parenting of their tiny, beloved daughters. 

Trust is a remarkable gift. I believe it is the most supreme gift of love. It moved me deeply to think of how much trust we all express each day.  We trust our children to the care of teachers.  We trust our words to the kindness of readers.  We trust our hearts to the compassion of loved ones. And we trust our dreams to the encouragement of those who believe in us.

Whether we've made a mistake -- or have felt injured by someone else's choices -- the restoration of trust is, for me,  the most knee-buckling proof that we have
been forgiven of a wrong or have shown another genuine mercy and forgiveness. 

After making a very public mistake myself, it was a friend's trust in my love for God -- and her faith in the integrity of my heart -- that most clearly demonstrated for me the presence of God's all-encompassing love and tenderest mercy in my life.

I sometimes wonder though, how it is that we are ever really able to trust ourselves or others?  Don't we already 
know how fallible we are?  Aren't we already much too aware of our own (and others) mistakes, poor choices, and regrettable decisions?  

And yet still, with all that knowing,  there is something in us that surrenders our concerns, fears, and worries when we love someone.  I believe this can only happen when we understand -- at some deeply primal, spiritual level -- that regardless of another person's human story it is God who we are trusting as all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present Love.

Our trust isn't really in people, but in an underlying knowledge that God - Love - is governing those we love.  I believe that we are really placing our trust in
His infallible, wise government of the entire universe.   It may look like we are trusting ourselves, or others -- but at the heart of it -- it's all about our trust in Something larger than ourselves.  And we trust this Something more than all those things we think we have figured out.

Mary Baker Eddy suggests that we pray daily:

"Thy kingdom come, let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin.  And may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind and govern them."

This last statement [in bold] provides a solid spiritual foundation for our trust in our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and, in fact, "all mankind."

This spiritual discipline of trusting God, by trusting mankind - whom He governs with unfailingly Sovereignty - is an indication of our love for Him.  

Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom once wrote:

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."

This week I have been asking myself.  "Do I really love God?"   And if I do, mustn't I trust Him with everything in my life?  Trust Him - understandingly - with all of my relationships, my hopes, my children, my dreams, the lives of my neighbors, the leadership of my country, the government of the universe?    

Recently, I was up all night going over all of my worries and doubts.  Looking at them through the lens of my love for God.    And each one dissolved into thin air when I asked myself, "Does this thinking affirm or deny your love for God, and your trust in His omnipotence? 

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy states:

"All that is made is the work of God, and all is good. We leave this brief, glorious history of spiritual creation in the hands of God, not of man, in the keeping of Spirit, not matter, - joyfully acknowledging now and forever God's supremacy, omnipotence, and omnipresence."

I love using this statement as a way of assessing my love for God and my  trust in Him.  I have to ask myself: "Do I really leave everything in His hands?  Do I trust all to the keeping of Spirit?"   Well, I always think I do.  But I've come to see  that I have a long way to go before I can say that I really love God -- if absolute trust is the measure of my affection. 

The more I examine my heart.  The deeper I plumb the depths of that trust.  And you know,  I realize I do trust God.  Especially with the really big things.  I trust God to make the sun rise each day, to uphold the laws of gravity, to enforce the law of phototropism - always turning each leaf towards the light.  And what about my childrens' safety, how we will pay for college, and those "what next" questions that keep me up at night?  Well, each day I am discovering new ways in which to affirm my love for God, by my trust in Him.  In His impartial and universal love and care for all of us.   So where to begin?

"I don't know much
But I know I love You.
And that may be all I need to know…"

My love for God is a very good place to start.  When I trust everything to His care because I love Him, and I know He loves us, all that is left for me to "do" is -- as Eddy says in the above admonition:

"joyfully acknowledge,
now and forever,
His supremacy, omnipotence, and omnipresence…"

What a great place to start
this day...

with Love,


[photo credit: Ashley Bay 2090]

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