tsa_cavity-check-lineLast Tuesday, I woke long before dawn to catch a plane and travel to Boston, where I was going to make my annual retreat. I had not slept well the night before, and was pretty bleary-eyed by the time I got to security, which may explain what happened next. The TSA agent looked at my ticket and muttered something like, “Are you acquainted with TSA pre-check?” Oh, boy, I thought. Here we go againThe pulling aside, the pat-down, people going through my luggage, looking at my private things…. “Uh, hunh,” I muttered, and moved on.

When I came toward the body scanners, the TSA agent called out, “She’s pre-check!” and they waved me through. I stood there a few minutes, waiting for someone to come to me with a wand and conduct the search, but nobody paid me any attention. Finally, I shrugged, collected my things, and continued to the boarding area, where I flipped out my smartphone to try to figure out what had just happened. It turned out that pre-check was a status that got you out of being searched. I sat there in shock, imagining all the bad people who might now be able to get onto a plane. Finally, a word drifted into my mind, a word I do not usually associate with travel: trust. I was reeling because I had been given trust.

It came to me then that our world is not ordered by trust, or for trust. Our travel, our commerce, even our marriages, all seem to have been taken over by contingency planning in case we fail one another or do not meet our obligations. We have pre-nuptual agreements, lawsuits, security screenings — all designed to hold us accountable for the malice in our hearts.

How does this culture shape the way we think about God? Too often, perhaps, we imagine God as The Enforcer, a kind of psychotic Santa Claus who makes lists of every mistake we make, every bad thought we have, so that he can present us with an eternal lump of coal on the great Day of Judgment.

But what if God’s not like that at all? What if God is not an Enforcer to be feared, but an admirer to be loved? What if God trusts us, really trusts us, and is making lists every day of all the ways we have been hurt, of all the extenuating circumstances in our lives, of all the ways we can be let off the hook? What if God has already decided to embrace us, just because God loves us?

UnknownThen you’d have to call him Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.

God with us. Think about it.

This entry was posted in The Rev. Dr. Deborah Meister and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Trust

  1. Kathy Morgan says:

    Deborah, thank you very much for this cup. And could you tell us anything about that absolutely gorgeous painting (or maybe it’s a fresco)? Kathy Morgan

  2. Christian says:

    A fine thought.. an enduring thought. thank you.

  3. Amanda Hobart says:

    So this essay is about us – about how we looked as if trust for us was apparent at DMV

  4. Pingback: Wise Women Writers You Probably Don’t Know (But Should) | More to Come...

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