IN HIS FOOTSTEPS
NO 12 2006
Scripture reading: John 2: 1-12
LIVING WITH TRUST
I have chosen to reflect on the value of trust for three weeks as it is something we need to meditate on seriously. There was a time when living with trust was the natural way to live. In small communities people trusted each other instinctively. But today, in our fast changing world, trust is something that many people are wary of as it so easily broken both in family life and at the work place. In the old days, our relationships at home and at work were long term and trust was built over a period of time. Today, people come and go out of our lives so quickly that there is not enough time to establish trust.
Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time……………keeping a promise, being punctual, helping someone who is overworked, listening to someone in trouble or pain, or just being there for people in times of need. Trust is what holds families and colleagues together. Trust is not a matter of technique or style, but of character. We are trusted because of who we are, how we behave and relate to others. Often we are also trusted because of our status in society. In such a case it becomes important that we do not let that trust down.
Our capacity for trust, depends on our experiences of trust. The more good experiences we have, the more we believe in trust, trust others and are trustworthy people. Our experiences of being let down, makes it difficult for us to trust easily, until we meet someone who restores it for us.
In an institution, trust forms the foundation for good communication, employee motivation, and the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work. When trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve.
LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART
The scripture lesson for today is the story of the wedding at Cana .In this story we see the easy, trusting relationship between mother and son. The mother knows that she can go to her son and ask for help knowing that he will come to her aid. The son trusts the mother knowing that what she asks for is for the good of many and not for herself alone. And he does as she asks. This is what living with trust is all about. We know that the person we go to will not let us down.
Mary was also the kind of person others trusted. Her gentle tone, kind words and warm nature shone through and those who came her way found it easy to trust her. She did not have a special high status, nor experience in turning water to wine, nor any authority over the servers. Yet, the servants filling the jars recognized trustworthiness in her. Even though she was only a guest at the wedding when she said, “ Do whatever he tells you, ” they did without any fuss.
The servants also trusted Jesus. To them, he was a stranger just like all the other men at the wedding. And he gives them an extraordinary order, “ Fill these jars with water.” And they do so. Why? Because they trusted him. And they trusted the woman who brought him.
What was it about Jesus they trusted? He did not look a very rich man, nor a learned one. They did not know who Jesus was or about his miraculous powers. Yet they trusted him and did as he told. What made them trust him? They just watched the exchange of words between Mary and Jesus. The trust and the good relationship between them must have been easy to see. Jesus too had a nature which invited people to him and a gentle voice that made others listen to what he was saying. But it must have been more than just these qualities. “Trust me,” his eyes would have said.
And because they trusted him, the bridegroom’s face was saved, and we have our first miracle and example to follow.
GO AND DO LIKEWISE
How does this relate to our lives today and what can we learn from it?
We know that Mary was a simple village woman without a special status. And yet, the servers trusted her. How do we get people to trust us? By being the kind of person Mary was. By embracing people to us with gentleness and kindness. By looking out for what needs to be done and then doing it quietly without any fanfare.
Living with trust today is hard. One old lady told me, “ Don’t trust your sons, don’t tell them all your plans. When you get old, they won’t look after you.” Hearing this almost made me cry as I realised that this lady’s children had done this to her. Another friend locks her fridge so that her maid can’t steal anything. Is there trust in this relationship? And yet another goes through her husband’s pockets as soon as he comes home. Is there trust in this marriage? A man working in an office hides letters and important documents from his colleagues. Is there trust in this office?
Can we imagine Mary or Jesus behaving this way? We need to keep them as our role models and every time an opportunity to trust or be trusted comes to us, we need to think of Mary and Jesus and the many ways in which they invited and gave trust.
FOR YOU TO THINK AND DISCUSS
- Name some of the ways we injure and break trust. Which of these are you guilty of?
- Think of three things you can do to establish better trust in your family.
- Think of three things you can do to establish better trust at your work place.
Try these out for a week and see if it works.
FOR YOU TO MEDITATE ON
Even within the family I love so much,
Living with trust is not easy Lord.
I find myself holding back,
fearing being let down again,
hearing the same old excuses,
feeling anger as well as pain.
So I harden my heart,
And don’t trust anyone.
“Can I borrow twenty rupees,” my driver asks,
“I will return it tomorrow.”
“ Oh yea,” I think and give him only ten.
If I was going to be diddled,
at least it will only be for ten bucks.
And then I think of Mary, your mother.
The great ocean of trust she must have had
for people like my driver, and me.
I want to be that kind of person Lord.
Hearing your story again has placed a seed in me.
Please let it grow. So that I may trust
and others may come to trust me.
As the servers did
when you asked them to fill the jars with water.
Most of all, I want to trust you,
My saviour and my friend.
USHA JESUDASAN - firstname.lastname@example.org