Trust All This to be True








Trust that there is a tiger, muscular
Tasmanian, and sly, which has never been
seen and never will be seen by any human
eye. Trust that thirty thousand sword-
fish will never near a ship, that far
from cameras or cars elephant herds live
long elephant lives. Believe that bees
by the billions find unidentified flowers
on unmapped marshes and mountains. Safe
in caves of contentment, bears sleep.
Through vast canyons, horses run while slowly
snakes stretch beyond their skins in the sun.
I must trust all this to be true, though
the few birds at my feeder watch the window
with small flutters of fear, so like my own.
~Susan Kinsolving “Trust”
photo by Emily Vander Haak
When I stand at the window watching the flickers, sparrows, finches, chickadees, and red-winged blackbirds come and go from the feeders, I wonder who is watching who.  They remain wary of me, fluttering away quickly if I approach with lens in hand.  They fear capture, even within a camera.  They have a life to be lived without my witness or participation.  So much happens that I never see or know about.

I understand:  I fear being captured too.

Even if only for a moment as an image preserved forever, I know it doesn’t represent all I am, all I’ve done, all I feel, all my moments put together.  The birds are, and I am, so much more than one moment.

Only God sees us fully in every moment, witness to our freedom and captivity,  our loneliness and grief, our joy and tears, knowing our best and our worst.
And because He knows us so well, in Him we must trust.
photo by Tomomi Gibson

2 thoughts on “Trust All This to be True

  1. Breathtaking, dazzling photos. Each one is so unique and perfectly complements your inspired comment, Emily.
    (As a ‘Type A’ Organizer personality, I recognize your extraordinary talent for the appropriate aesthetic matchups of texts and photos. )

    Your last paragraph, the recap, ‘Only God sees us…,’ brought back some memories of my Catholic school education
    in the late 30s to the cusp of the 50s. Many of us (at least I did) believed that God was a stern-faced, white-haired, old man sitting down with a two-column tablet in hand, writing down every single thing that we did — good and bad — the latter being very specific and judgmental and filling up that column more often than the other . He seemed to us to give no quarter nor consider our excuses. Once written down, the infraction could not be retracted. No erasers there. Most likely indelible ink was used also.

    That perception of ‘God’ changed after Vatican II (1962-65) when the Conciliar Documents and massive outpouring of books and papers of supporting research and suggested new ways of doing things became available to laypersons. We were hungry to learn, to hope for needed changes in the Catholic Church. (For the first time, we were told that ‘We [the laity] are the Church.” Quite a dramatic turnaround from ‘pray, pay and obey!)

    We formed Bible study groups in our parishes and individual homes and in other Christian churches. We learned a new, hopeful term — ‘ecumenism.’ It was a heady time for Catholics especially because very few persons were biblically knowledgeable. Our sisters and brothers in other Christian churches were years ahead of us in that respect. We soon changed that and quickly narrowed the gap.
    Eventually, I formed a Bible study group in my parish that lasted for 13 years. I found a wonderful program that included 40 study books (20 in each the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures). We amassed reference and supportive research materials from recognized Scripture scholars (including other Christian as well as Jewish authors)

    It was during that magical, blessed time in my life that I met Jesus, the Incarnate God who took on our humanity with all its problems and severe injustice. For His short 33-year life he lived in a Roman- occupied country, dealing with a religious leadership that resented His increasing following and feared His influence among the people and what the leadership considered His ‘radical’ teaching among the crowds of the poor and dis-enfranchised people who followed him and took hope in His words as dangerous, even heretical .
    And so it began — and continues to this day. He came to show us His Father’s love for us, promised us that He would never leave us orphans, will be with us always, and will return.

    So, my dear Emily, I thank you for your true and powerful closing words in today’s post. I, too, now know and love a God who:
    “sees us fully in every moment, witness to our freedom and captivity, our loneliness and grief, our joy and tears, knowing our best and our worst. And because He knows us so well, in Him we must trust.”

    Our responsibility now is to do as He taught us to do: To SEE with His eyes and to REACH OUT to all who are suffering, alienated, seeking justice…. TELL THEM about Jesus and His story, what He taught us, what He promised, what He has waiting for us at the end of our earthly journey – nothing less than to see His face – the face of God – in the forever Home that He has prepared for us – in His Kingdom.

    Liked by 1 person

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