Imagine what it feels like to be with someone you really trust. You trust her to listen when you have something important to say. You trust her to keep your confidences. You trust her not to cause you harm, at least not intentionally. You trust her to like you even on your ugly days. You trust her to help when she’s able to do so. You trust her not to judge you even when you’ve behaved badly and it would make sense to judge you.
Or maybe you’ve not had the privilege of such a relationship. In that case, imagine how it feels to be around people you really do not trust. You’re not sure this person cares about you, will stand up for you, listen to you, respect you, avoid embarrassing you in public, and so on.
When you trust someone, you are much freer to be yourself. You gain the courage to live your life whether it’s an easy day or a horrendous day. Trust in the other person’s character and friendship frees you to dwell deeply in your own life.
The two authors we encounter on DDF this week—Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith—nurtured their friendship through letter writing, which began as a Lenten practice in 2005 but expanded far beyond that period. This friendship developed deep trust between them, which they needed, because they had separate lives to live, challenges to face, and griefs to endure. But this was a spiritual journey as well, and they learned together how to recognize the divine showing up. As they experienced God, their faith in God increased, and this led to the freedom it takes to tend a marriage, become a mother, and follow the often confusing path to the next home, the next job, and the next community.
I love how honest these women are, as they tell each other about their frustrations with faith. Here’s just a taste of Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters:
I don’t know that I’ve ever felt the presence of God in prayer. He seems to show up when we least expect him. But even if we don’t feel that presence, should we pray anyway? We can’t judge the fruits of any practice solely on the basis of our feelings. Prayer is either objectively worth something or it isn’t.
—Jess, March 1, 2005
- Have you experienced the Divine through prayer or anything else in a way that allowed your faith to grow?
- Have you ever experienced Divine companionship through another person?
- How free are you to be yourself in God’s presence?
- Right now, what are the limits of your trust in God?