I've been learning graphing in school recently, and I thought I would share some of what I am learning.
I showed you a graph with two lines on it, and one reached to 6 and the
other simply reached to 2, and asked you which line was longer, you'd
answer with ease. "The one to 6, of course."
But you would not have the whole picture.
you backed off a little, you'd see that the lines go down beyond zero
along the y axis into negative. One line starts at -1 and goes to 6.
The other one starts at -8 and goes to 2.
Now which one would you say is longer?
It is very easy to misjudge when you only see what is visible above zero.
person in my life recently threw me for a loop when he told me that
because of my "low trust", he would not be there for me in a place where
I had depended on him being. It had started out with him doing
something that made me very uncomfortable with how he approached
something, so I questioned him on it. Instead of hearing my discomfort
about the situation, and attempting to understand me and reassure my
fears of the situation and prove himself to be trustworthy, he told me
that because of my low level of trust, he was going to walk away.
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Because I had trusted this person. Likely more than I had trusted many people.
sleeping off some of the pain, and going to a very dear friend of mine
to share where I was and going to my husband for comfort, I began to
God has not rejected me. He hasn't. It
is that simple. Sometimes people do, and that is very painful. But
God hasn't. God is not even in people's rejection of me. He does not
condone it or appreciate it.
I sat and wrote out verses about God's acceptance of us. I wrote in beautiful calligraphy on my wrists, "Accepted". I went back to the basics of what I know. Who God is. What He is like. What He says.
I asked God to help me understand and heal.
this morning, God spoke. He spoke quietly to me and showed me a
picture of an injured child, one injured at birth whose legs will never
be "normal". I saw that child walking down the hall with his awkward
gait, sometimes tripping, and getting up and going. This child will
never walk with the ease of the ones whose legs have never had any
injury. But this child walks!
No one in their right mind
would say to the child as he limps down the hall with a grin on his
face, "Hey, you don't walk very well at all, you know. In fact, you can
barely walk at all!" Anyone hearing that would immediately want to
punch the speaker. Instead, we see this child, and we smile. Our eyes
soften and we say, "Wow! Good job! Look at how well you are doing!"
We are,deep within our soul, proud of this child, not for the
perfection of his walk, but that he is walking!
In order to do that, he had to overcome more, be more determined, and
push through so much more, but here he is walking! He's a great walker
because he walks despite all that life handed him.
people in the church, sadly, do not hold the same view of people who
have been injured in other ways. This is not the first time I have
heard, in the community of believers, criticism of people for "low
trust". It hurts me on a deep level.
If a child is born
in love, cared for and protected as a child, loved deeply, and treated
justly and with respect his entire growing up years, we look at him and
admire how trusting he is. He has had little to no reason not to be.
But if a child has been injured, rejected, or suffered pain, that child
will struggle to trust. It is very easy to look at that person and
say, "They don't trust well. They have low trust." But that is an
external view, a superficial view that does not see below the surface.
of all, there is no information on what will happen when the person who
grew up with no assaults on their trust is in a situation where trust
is challenged. That trust is basically untested.
importantly, the person whose trust may have been judged as "low" may
actually be strong. Because one who carries on despite pain or injury
is actually very strong. They may not win the race, but the strength
that enables them to limp across the finish line half a mile behind
everyone else is commendable. The fact that despite so many assaults
against their trust, they still get up and attempt to trust one more time tells you that they actually have a very strong trust - one strong enough to continue on despite attacks against it.
is time for the church to stop valuing people on the appearance of
perfection and look beyond the superficial. If we as a church can not
learn to take in the injured and rejoice when they walk - yes, with a
limp -, then we have no voice in the world. Today, I am not being
silent, but am speaking up. I am not alone. The church is full of
people injured by sin. It is time to stop calling our trust into
question and judging us on it. Yes, I may not trust easily, but I still keep trying, and that is God's redemptive work in my life!
even more importantly, I have a Father who will not reject me and who
smiles and applauds my efforts as I limp down that hallway and whose
eyes soften in pride when I get up and keep struggling on after I trip.
It is time to stop judging the length of a line simply by what reaches above zero.