Have you ever played the trust game? Where someone demonstrates trust in his or her fellows by falling backward into the waiting arms of a team of people set to catch her or him?
Whom do you trust like that?
I just played a new trust game. One partner keeps eyes closed, while the other partner leads him or her (only with words, no touching) through a crowded room, out a narrow doorway, down a crowded hall – with other people, both sighted and not-sighted, playing this game – around a bend, down another hall and into a crowded public space. On arrival, turn around and return.
Guiding, without sight. Only by faith. Faith in me. That no harm would come to her.
I am cautious, waiting for the way to clear, while talking her through the steps we will take to reach our destination. Introducing myself – did I mention that we had never met each other before? – I assure her that her safety is my utmost goal. But we will achieve our objective.
We begin. I go before her, my back to the traffic, my face to her. At first, I give instructions: turn this way, 2 steps that way, stop. But when I watch her face I see her comfort. She has placed her confidence in me, her complete trust in me. I will talk her through this.
Come toward my voice.
I will stay in front of you.
No harm will come to you.
I will clear your way.
We enter the lighted hallway through the open door of the classroom and her face beams. She pauses without moving. “That’s amazing,” she says, “I know I am in the light, even though my eyes are closed.”
I smile, but she doesn’t see it. She is waiting and listening, blind to the traffic, the congestion of people, and to the chaos of others navigating the hallway. She trusts. Fully.
So simple. Listen to My voice.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. ~ John 10:14-16
“I have so many choices facing me right now, Guiding God…I listen for your voice.
I listen with an open heart. I trust that you will guide me to the right choices. In this trusting, I am going to move out in faith and open the doors in front of me…
Ever present God, the process of opening doors begins now. Please help me discern the best choice.”
~ Patricia F. Wilson, Quiet Spaces
Heart beating fast, I fling open the doors.
The party has already started. In fact, from the look of things, it’s well underway. Everyone I love is here! Along with plenty whom I don’t know.
How do I enter? Where do I begin?
- Start at the first table and introduce myself around?
- Find someone I recognize and start a conversation there?
- Stand to the side and wait for someone to notice me?
- Find another who looks lonely and befriend them?
- See who’s in charge and ask where I’m to be seated?
Stepping gently, I wander in. Like I’ve hit a magic floorboard, the lights instantly dim and a spotlight illuminates me. A voice booms, “Wendy, welcome to the party! We’ve been expecting you.”
Oh, but look what I’m wearing, surely not fit for such an occasion. I squeeze my eyes tight against the blinding light and fold my arms around my body, much, much too late to cover the grubby shorts and sweaty t-shirt.
I am surrounded in intake of breath. No tittering and no guffaws, only silence. What are they staring at?
Must. Look. One squinting eye hazards a look toward my sneakers. Oh my. Oh my, no! What I’m wearing is glorious, glowing, flowing, lovely. I am the belle of the ball. Arms raised, eyes wide, I must spin, just one turn in Cinderella’s gown.
…Tablecloths grab, silverware flies, glassware and centerpieces crash to the ever-loving ground. Frozen, I stare at the mess I have made. How am I ever to be me dressed like this?
“Stand still, dear one. Don’t move. Let me look at you. You’re lovely just as you are.”
In an instant I am back at my desk with pen in hand, jotting notes for the next article and planning the next training session. T-shirt, shorts and sneakers …ah, glorious.
Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
As we turn the page to March and hope and pray for warmer weather and longer days, here are a few sentiments that held special meaning for me from the pages of my copy of the Upper Room devotional booklet. Perhaps you have some to share in the comments.
(After a senseless act of violence, one man writes)…What, I wondered, led the killers to tear a hole in the glory of God’s world? the only answer that came to me was that evil had taken root in their lives because love was not there to crowd it out.
“I can’t seem to get over these doubts, Lord, but I’m coming to you in spite of them.”
In moments of weakness, we are tempted to let our insecurity and limitations grow. …we end up hiding our potential and withdrawing from the opportunities God has in store for us. …Knowing God trusts us gives us the strength and courage to face our challenges and realize our potential and our gifts.
He may give us only enough clarity and courage to take a single step forward, but it is up to us to “take up” our present situation and take that step.
As I yielded to and depended on the Lord, I was given the ability.
God is in the detours of our lives.
God knows right where I am and loves me mightily.
When God said, “I am who I am” or “I shall be who I shall be,” God was saying, “I am the one who causes things to be.” I am the Creator of history.
My job is to do the tasks in front of me. God’s job – God’s delight – is to use them to feed the world.