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Usha and Mercy
Kisumu - Kenya

IN HIS FOOTSTEPS

NO 11 2006
Scripture reading: John 18: 15-18:
John 20: 15-18

REBUILDING TRUST
INTRODUCTION

We cannot live without trust. The well - being of our families, work places and communities depend on trust. Trust may seem strong and binding, but actually it is very fragile, for it can be broken easily. At some time or other, all of us have broken someone else’s trust in us. We may have promised to help someone, then backed out at the last minute; or gossiped about a friend; or not kept to a time schedule. We may have behaved in a way that betrayed someone; or cheated in some way; told a lie, or took something that did not belong to us. Because we are human and selfishly tend to look after ourselves first, we often break the trust that others place on us.

When we break trust, we also break relationships that are close to us and which sustain us. When trust is broken, we feel betrayed and hurt. We become angry with the person who let us down. We become suspicious and move away from this person. Sometimes, we stop talking to that person or do something that will hurt him / her. When trust is broken within a family, there is much unhappiness and insecurity. When it is broken in a workplace, suspicion looms over everyone like a big black cloud. When it is broken in a community, often there is violence. Although trust is like a fragile piece of thread, which can be broken easily, the good news is that it can be rebuilt.

How do we rebuild trust once it is broken? If we are the person who has broken it, we need to be sincerely sorry for breaking the trust that someone has placed on us. We need to ask forgiveness and show the person whom we have let down that we would do better given another chance.

If we are the one who is at the receiving end of it, we need to forgive and give the other person another chance. Rebuilding trust takes time, love and commitment on both sides.

LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART

One of the folk tales of our country tells of a king who was getting married. The king was good and kind and just to his people and they wanted to thank him and celebrate his wedding. So they decided to make a huge pot full of sweet kheer for the wedding feast. They decided that each person would bring a jug of milk to make the kheer. On the day of the wedding, the pot was set on the fire and each person brought his jug of milk. One person thought, “ I don’t really need to take milk. Others will be doing that. So I will just take a jug of water.” So he poured his jug of water into the pot. His neighbour watching him, thought, “ Oh , he is taking milk, so I need not give milk,. I will just take water.” Like this, everyone brought just a jug of water. The kheer maker who was well known for making the best kheer in the country was mystified. The colour was too pale and the kheer just was not thickening. He tasted the kheer. “ This is not milk, this is water,” he said. He called the people one by one and each confessed that they had brought water instead of milk. The kheer maker was shocked at the lack of trust in the community. That too towards the king who had always treated them with kindness and justice. The people were ashamed of their untrustworthy behavior. They repented and asked the kheer maker to give them another chance. This time they all brought a jug of milk for the king’s feast.

You may smile and think that this is just a story, but if you think about it, often we too behave in the same manner. A friend had arranged a special dinner to honour her father – in law and had invited a few guests. Everyone said they would come, but in the end no one came as each person had an excuse and thought, “ Oh so- and -so will be going, so it doesn’t matter if I drop out.” But it did matter. When trust is broken it always matters. My friend called up each guest to say how angry and hurt she was. The others realized that their selfishness could lose them a good friend. So they hosted a dinner for her father – in - law and friendship and trust was maintained.

GO AND DO LIKEWISE

In the scripture lesson today , we see how Peter betrayed Jesus in his moment of need. When the soldiers took Jesus, Peter ran away. When someone recognized him as one of the twelve disciples, he denied it. In fact he denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus must have been so hurt at this betrayal.

Like Peter we also betray our colleagues and friends. When they need us to stand up for them, we keep silent. When they are unjustly treated, we disappear from their lives. When they are in trouble, we pretend that we are too busy to be with them.

Our reading today also shows us how in spite of this betrayal, Jesus still loved Peter and gave him another chance. He trusted him enough to be the foundation of his church and future disciples throughout the ages. And this time, Peter did not let Jesus down. We need to keep Jesus as our example and do what he did. Forgive with love and trust again.

FOR YOU TO THINK AND DISCUSS

  • Have you ever experienced broken trust?
  • Have you ever broken someone else’s trust?
  • What did you do to rebuild trust again?

FOR YOU TO MEDITATE ON

I made a promise today Lord, and I broke it.
I didn’t mean to break it,
it was just that I had so many other things to do,
and this seemed unimportant.
But it was important to my friend.
And I let her down badly.

A group of people were talking badly about our boss.
I joined in and added my bit.
That was not right, as though he is a difficult person
he was kind to me when my mother died.
I let him down badly by gossiping about him.

I lied a little today Lord,
if I had told the truth, I would have got into a lot of trouble.
This way, someone else takes the blame.

I’m ashamed Lord, by the many ways in which
I betray my friends and family.
Help me to repent; Help them to forgive me
So that we can trust and love again, in your name.

Amen

USHA JESUDASAN - ushajesudasan@gmail.com

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