Radical Trust

Our theme developers define trust in this way: the practice of commitment and faith in a love that won’t let us go. I think of trust falls, where a person willingly falls backward, trusting that their friends will catch them, not letting them go, which is pretty radical. Many teens learn about trust falls through civic and church groups, but I had no awareness of them until I was at a punk concert and saw stage diving. A person would make their way up onto the stage and then fall backwards off the raised platform, trusting the community of concert goers to catch them. Then, body held rigid, they would get passed over the heads of other fans in a term known as body surfing. Punk shows are pretty radical. Being lifted by a church community, especially in times of trial, is like being caught and then lifted over the heads of your friends at a punk show. It will not appeal to everyone, but both experiences do teach us about trust.

Whereas punk rock does not look like or sound mainstream—in fact its message is more like folk music than mainstream rock—we cared about things like racism and sexism and such, despite our rough looks. Unitarian Universalism has messages that are not like other churches, and we lift up anti-racism and anti-oppression even in predominantly white congregations. Working for equality is radical love.

Trust is that feeling, not backed up by any data, of being held by a commitment that will not let go. When a person asks, “Do you trust me?” they are asking if you will accept their love, if you have faith in their ability to hold your friendship dear, even in trying times. Trust is about having faith “in a love that won’t let go.” Unitarian Universalists and our congregations have that kind of love, the kind that does not let go. We build beloved community by trusting in that love. In February and beyond, commit, love, and trust. We thank that is pretty radical.

In Peace with Love,

Rev. Amy DeBeck