Archive for March 9th, 2009

I have been reading the book The Shack by William Paul Young. This is a New York Times bestseller that is quite popular among the church crowd. The tag line is “Where tragedy confronts eternity.” The basic gist is to try to make sense of where faith comes in when tragedy strikes.

The premise of the book is that the main character, Mack, lost his six-year-old daughter to a serial killer. Obviously, his pain has affected his ability to connect with his faith. He receives a mysterious note from G*d, inviting him to return to the shack where evidence of the child’s murder was found. The rest of the book is an allegory of wrestling with making sense of faith amidst tragedy.

I have found that this book contains a lot of wisdom in it. This week, I would like to explore some of the pearls of wisdom that I have found, specifically those relating to those of us who are healing from child abuse. I am trying to write this in a way that does not leave out those of you who are triggered by religion. If religion is unavoidable in a topic, then I will post a trigger warning for you.

My first topic does not have any religious triggers. Here is the quote I would like to explore from the book:

You cannot produce trust, just as you cannot “do” humility. It either is or is not. Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved. Because you do not know that I love you, you cannot trust me. ~ The Shack, page 128

I found this pearl of wisdom to be quite insightful. I always think of trust as something that I “fail” to do. I have a very hard time trusting people, and I have seen this as a shortcoming that I need to work on. However, I think there is a lot of wisdom in the thought that trust is a natural byproduct of feeling loved.

I have a new best friend. We have known each other for a few years but just started getting closer about a year ago. She is very guarded, but once she lets you into her heart, she does it wholeheartedly.

I am finding myself trusting her more and more, and it has been a natural byproduct of knowing that she loves me. I have not had to “work on” trusting her. I also did not have to “work on” caring about her. The intermixing of love and trust happened naturally as we become more emotionally intimate in talking about the things that matter.

On the flip side, I have other relationships in which I do not trust much, and I am growing to see it is because I do not know that I am loved. In some cases, I am probably not. In other cases, I do not feel the love. It might be because of how the other person expresses the love, or it might be because I resist the expression. Regardless, I do not feel loved, so I do not trust.

What do you think about this correlation?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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