Trust Restorers... at the Auto Dealership?

“Trust, once lost, could not be easily found. Not in a year, perhaps not even in a lifetime.”
-J.E.B Spredemann

Trust is complicated; once it is broken it is hard to recover.  Thankfully in life there are people who are Trust Restorers.  These are the people who work and wait (and wait and wait and wait) to earn the trust of those whose faith is lost.  One of my favorite Trust Restorer stories comes from Love What Matters:

I read this story over and over.  How easy it would have been for the mom to respond a different way.  The rebuilding of trust is hard work.  She chose the long road.  The road that leads to transformation.     

This past week I met a group of Trust Restorers…. at the auto dealership.  Ohhh the irony.  First, to catch you up to speed, let’s just say that my last experience at a dealership was less than ideal (it was horrible). I’ve needed a new car for quite some time, but kept putting it off.  Finally, I decided to look online.  Within seconds I found a great car.  It had everything I wanted (and more) and was within my budget.  I went to the dealer for a test drive fully expecting:

1. for it to be not as advertised
2. for them to bully me
3. for them to scam me

Well, it was as advertised.  In fact, it was even more wonderful.  I tell the dealer I’m interested in purchasing the vehicle.  As he’s talking me through the buying process I begin to melt down.  He notices.  Before I know it I’m spilling my whole story in the middle of the dealership.  He stops me and says “I’m sorry that happened to you.  I want you to trust me.  I need you to trust me so you can recommend me to others.”  He gets up and comes back with a stack of papers.  For the next hour he walks me through every charge and every line of the contract. There is nothing hidden.  The contract is completely transparent. 

Then they send me to manager to sign all the finance papers and of course I begin to melt down.  The manager notices.  And once again I’m spilling my story.  He stops me and says “What happened to you was illegal.  That is not okay.”  Then he breaks down the price of the vehicle piece by piece.  He gives me a calculator and lets me calculate every charge over and over again until I was comfortable.  This whole thing took hours.  Not once did I feel pressured to hurry up or to agree to anything I didn’t understand.  They choose the long road for me, someone they will forget about in a few weeks’ time. 

Almost a week later and I am still in shock.  I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  (Hopefully the family mechanic will give it a clean bill of health on Thursday!) 


Have you ever walked in somewhere and instantly felt at home?  That's how I felt the moment I walked into the doors of the church I've been attending the past few months.  Every Sunday Americans, Ghanians, French, Chinese, Mexicans, Canadians, Cameroonians, Philippinos, South Africans, Swedes, Colombians, Brits, Germans, New Zealanders, Taiwanese and many more stand side by side worshiping.  International churches are unique.  Each culture and each denomination represented brings truth to the community.  I love international churches.      

During worship today we sang a new song:

"Give thanks to God for he is good..."  As we sang together this morning I began looking around and was overcome with grief.  This place was suppose to be my home.  This was where I was suppose to dig my roots in deep.  This was suppose to be where I would serve.  This was suppose to be where I would grow.   I don't understand why I moved across the world only to move back again, but I know...

that he is good
that he is trustworthy
that he is true
that he is steadfast

and for that I am thankful.

Reflections on Cities, Nature, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

Yesterday I was moping about living in big cities.  Since graduating I have lived in some of the biggest cities in the world.  Don't get me wrong there are some wonderful things about living in big cities; however, I have found there is a certain tiredness that comes from living in a big city.  Nature has always refilled my soul.  There is something calming about the top of a mountain or the middle of the forest.  I assumed that this tiredness was directly related to the lack of nature in big cities.  

Then last night I opened up the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day devotional and found this quote by Mother Teresa:

"We all must take time to be silent and to contemplate, especially those who live in big cities like London and New York where everything moves so fast.... I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence - we need to listen to God because it's not what we say but what He says to us and through us that matters.  Prayer feeds the soul - as blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul - and it brings you closer to God.  It also gives you a clean and pure heart. A clean heart can see God, can speak to God, and can see the love of God in others."

Maybe it isn't so much a lack of nature as it is a lack of silence. 
Maybe it isn't so much a lack of nature as it is a lack of rhythm.

As I enter into an unknown season once again it becomes clearer what is important.  

Less is more.

P.S I still think nature is important.