The Heart of Trust

If there is one great fruit that has come from my journey of loss, depression, shattering, rebuilding, falling again, and living in confusion,

it is trust.

I do not say this as a noble acquisition: look at me and how well I trust.

I say it with a spirit of relinquishing: I have no other choice but to trust.

The sun still rises and sets.
The earth still spins on its axis.
Seasons still come and go,
sometimes all four of them in a single day.

“We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty, and redeem the times. But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case. Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth. It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide the crutch. When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit.’ ”

~ Brennan Manning,

Ruthless Trust

I am still confused, lost, uncertain and unsure.

And so what choice do I have, but to trust with every fiber of my being?

Jesus, into your hands I commit my spirit.

Again.

* * *

“Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.”

~ Angelus Silesius,
paraphrasing Luke 12:6-7

Primary Driver(s)

Tucker sat beside me in the waiting area of the body shop as the (very nice and friendly) girl from Enterprise talked me through the contract for my substitute vehicle for the next ten-or-so days.

She had a playful banter with Tuck.

“You play baseball?  ‘Cause with that hat on, you look like you play baseball.”

He beamed.  And remained silent.

I answered for him.  (I know I shouldn’t do this.  I know, okay?  I know.)  “He’s not on a team yet, but he loves to play baseball with his friends.”

“Oh, yeah?  Well, what do you play, little man?”

He spoke up this time.  “I play basketball and soccer.”

“You good?”  She had a gentle ebonic style with him.

He smiled.

“No, boy, don’t you go thinkin’ about it.  You think too much, you won’t think good about you.  You just answer.  You good?”

She nudged his knee.  He nodded.

“There you go.  That’s what I’m talkin’ about.  You just say yes.  Because you’s good.”

She turned her attention back to me, her clipboard in hand.  She gave me the wink parents give each other: you have a cute kid.

(Yep.  I do.  Two of them.)

Her voice was professional again when she spoke to me.  “Ma’am, this section says you and your husband will be the primary drivers, so no one else will drive the vehicle.”

Tucker waved his hand in between us, a blatant, physical interjection.

“Oh, no, no – our daddy died.”

“What?  D’you say your dog died?”

“No, our daddy.  Our daddy died.”

I spoke for him again.  “His dad died a year ago.  That’s what he’s telling you.”

Tucker jumped back in to clarify.  “She doesn’t have a husband, because my daddy died.  So, you don’t have to worry. Nobody else will drive the car.”

Her eyes flickered between my son and me, then to the carseats at my feet that would be transferred into the rental.  Yep.  I have two little boys.

“I’m so very sorry, ma’am.”

“Thank you.  Very much, thank you for saying that.”

“And I’m sorry to you too, little man.”

Tucker held her gaze.

Then she said, “Your dad would be very proud of you, little man.  You a real good kid.”

He smiled his toothy grin.  My six-year-old guardian, assuming responsibilities I never intended him to carry.  I speak for him; he speaks for me.

I initialed here, here, here, and here, and she gave me the keys to the car that only I will drive.

When I said I ‘wrecked my car’…

The first thing I learned: I shouldn’t use the word ‘wrecked’ and the phrase ‘my car’ on Facebook until I have clarified with my friends and family that I was speaking hyperbolically when I said I ‘wrecked my car.’

Really, I merely scraped the entire passenger’s side of the van on someone else’s bumper.  Stem to stern.  Blasted depth perception strikes again.

So, I used the word ‘wrecked’ in the same sense that I might wreck a batch of cookies.  No injuries, but now I’m stuck with a mess to clean up.

If you’ve been around for a while, perhaps you know I’m a little hard on cars.  (Robb is laughing aloud in heaven right now.)  I could go down the list, but it’s just not necessary.  Suffice it to say, the passenger’s side is a vulnerable spot for me.  And the driver’s side.  And the rear bumper.

Robb was a corporate trainer for Farmers Insurance, so he knew the drill on repairs to any car.  Over and over again, Robb handled all of this for me (sometimes with a gracious, forgiving spirit, and other times he just handled it) with his many friends in the insurance industry.

This time, the task is mine to handle.

While the process of filing an auto claim is small for most people (and routine for others), this was monumental for me.  It would call me to enter Robb’s corporate world, call his HelpPoint hotline, speak to people whom he had trained, and use the language of claims and auto repair – the words I heard him speak on a daily basis.

I spent Friday afternoon at a body shop, getting an estimate on my vehicle.  Robb used to frequent this body shop; he worked closely with them.  He hosted their drive-in, where people could drop in for quick numbers and signatures.  He dealt with people in varied measures of crisis, whether it was a crimp in their day or a total loss of their car.

I sat in their lobby, watching people come and go, many with that Farmers logo on their shirt.  I wondered if they knew Robb.  If they worked with him.  If they remembered him.

I didn’t introduce myself to anyone.
I didn’t ask anyone if they knew him.

I wasn’t sure I could handle it if they said yes.
I wasn’t sure I could handle it if they said no.

I miss you, babe.

To Serve and Be Served

“What did you learn in church today?”

“Nothing.  We ate candy.”

“I don’t believe that’s all you did.  Try again.  What was the story about?”

They rush to answer together, their words crashing and bouncing like bumper cars.

“Jesus washed their feet.”

“Whose feet?”

“The men.  He washed their feet.  And then Peter stood up and said, ‘Hey.  Don’t wash my feet.'”

“Why was Jesus washing their feet?”

“Because they were dirty.  They had very dirty feet.”

All true.  But missing a few nuances.

“Way back then, it was the job of the least important person to wash the feet of the other people.  So what do you think Jesus was teaching them?”

“That they had dirty feet.”

“And, he was serving them.  He was showing them that they were more important.  That’s what we do when we serve someone – we show them that they are more important.”

A few hours later, we have a brilliant opportunity to put this into practice. In a creative frenzy, the boys had scattered their puzzle pieces across the floor.  Four puzzles, disembodied and strewn about.

“Guys, you’ll need to clean this up.”

“My brother cleaned up one, and I already cleaned up two.”

“Well, now’s your chance to serve him by cleaning up the last one.”

Heavy sigh.  “Fine. Tucker?  Watch me.  I’m serving you.”

That’s not exactly the attitude we’re looking for, kiddo.

But the bedtime practicum was the best.

Tucker lay in his top bunk, thinking of his checklist of needs.

Blanket: Check.
Fresh water: Check.
Slipper socks: Check.
Bathroom light…. aha.

“Mommy?  I need someone to come and turn on the bathroom light.  You know that’s what I need every night.”

“Tucker, I’m finished up there tonight.  You can turn it on and get back in bed.”

“But… I need someone to serve me.”

Three times he made this request.  “Please?  I need someone to serve me!  Serve me!!”

Nope.  No dice.  That’s definitely not how it’s going to work around here.

There is a difference between serving someone or treating them like your servant.  It’s a fine line, gentlemen.