I wrote last week on "risking love," and argued that a community ought not seek to ensure that its members never hurt one another. That is neurotic and severely limits our maturation. Instead, a community's members must strive to practice love and forgiveness, and learn how to heal and reconcile when hurt comes. We cannot choose not to be hurt by one another; we can only choose whether to keep walking together and share God's redemption or not.
Being faithful means that we choose to keep being together, as long as we can listen, and as long as we are willing to learn obedience to the word of God that our brothers and sisters bring to us. We do this because it is how God wills our salvation. We aren't risking on particular community members, but staking our lives on the trustworthiness of God's own plan.
This takes trust: trust that we are loved by God, and trust that we will continue to be loved by his New Community. Some people will tell you that trust means believing that a person will never hurt you, and that God will never allow you to feel pain. I reject that. Trust cannot be a savvy assessment of the odds, and taking our chances that we probably won’t be hurt.
In trust, we choose to be realistic, understanding that if we love, we will certainly feel badly at some point. Trust is the willingness to feel badly, and deciding that in the light of the healing and love we’re receiving from Christ and his Church, we will stay with one another, and be obedient to him anyway.
Choosing God's way of transformation and healing requires choosing the pain that comes with it. Otherwise, we will find ourselves changing our minds and backing out on Jesus every time things get too hard.
Trust isn’t about calculating the odds of someone else’s faithfulness, but about choosing to let myself be hurt. If I wait for a completely risk-free environment before trusting, I will never know what it is to freely give and receive the love of God.