Recently I spent time with a person whom I have gotten to know well over the last several years. We’ve been meeting together regularly for at least two years and have done activities, school stuff, and church together. I’d say we’ve been very involved in each others’ lives and have a lot of mutual trust.
Then, last time we met, I discovered that, up until then, I’d seen only the tip of the iceberg.
This will be short and sweet, but I wanted to say this to you and to myself, because it’s a big deal:
Building trust is walking together.
If you blow it, or if they pull back, you may not be walking together anymore. I have people whom I once trusted but will no longer open up to, and I’m the guy always talking about opening up! Not everyone is safe.
But if we do keep trust, walking together means that this journey doesn’t really have a destination. We’re just hanging out, moseying or strolling or marching along, because being together is good and life-giving, not because we needed to get from Point “A” to Point “B.”
Here’s the epiphany that splashed me in the face, the reason I’m writing today: trust is an ongoing, cumulative process, a LONG walk, and you may think–I certainly thought–that most everything that could come out already had.
Not. Even. Close.
I thought we were cruising along, checking in about things, doing good maintenance. Turns out what I didn’t know was crucial, as in, the interpretive key through which everything else makes sense.
I wasn’t pressing to go deeper because I thought we were there. But we were still walking. I forgot that there is no destination in relationships. Yet this happened, this moment of deeper trust, because we were still on the journey together, even though it turned out I thought we were somewhere else on the map.*
Remember: we know people because they trust us. I mean know people, not greet each other on Sunday morning or make small talk. Trust may be the most precious, fragile gift anyone gives.
But we never fully know people. We just walk together.
Remember that, Mike.
*Not the first time in my life to experience this, either literally or figuratively.