Posted by: zephaniah317 | June 7, 2007

Truth and Trust

I really like Erwin McManus’s writings.  Here’s an excerpt from Soul Cravings, from a section about trust: 

“Aaron was around two years old, in that stage between crawling and walking.  We heard somewhere that the longer your kids crawl, the better they will be able to read, so we encouraged the scooting and let him take his time on the walking.  Seems like a strange connection, doesn’t it, between crawling and reading?  But the longer I live, the more I’ve come to realize that seemingly unrelated things are far more connected than they first appear.

The only part of the crawling stage that was driving me crazy was that he kept insisting on crawling up the stairs to the second floor of our house.  This was a problem because he was great at crawling up but incapable of crawling down.  So day after day, sometimes hour after hour, I would hear Aaron crying from the second floor, pleading for someone to come and help him back down the stairs.

This was cute the first couple of times, but cute only goes so far.

At first I tried to calmly explain that he was not allowed to climb up the stairs.  It kind of makes you wonder who’s denser, the two-year-old who can’t seem to understand the rules or the thirty-two-year old who actually thinks the two-year-old will listen.  So it became my daily ritual to retrieve Aaron from upstairs.  Since we couldn’t get him to cooperate, we decided to buy a gate that would block the staircase.  Before we knew it, Aaron had pried the screws right out of the wall, removed the gate, and found his way to freedom, which, of course, left him trapped on the second floor.

Come to think of it, it’s not much different from the way a lot of us live our lives.  We use our freedom to get where we want to go and then find ourselves trapped and can’t get out without help.

Anyway, the gate idea was an inadequate solution to a grand problem.  I hate climbing up stairs – bad knees, you know.  This was going to require an intervention.  I was going to have to catch him in the act and take control of the situation.  One afternoon I watched him scooting around behind the furniture, and I knew exactly where he was heading.  When he was convinced I wasn’t paying attention, he made a break for the stairs.  I let him climb about halfway up, and then I sneaked around the corner.

In my best I-am-your-father voice, I stepped out and commanded him to stop and to immediately come down.

I began to think to myself, He’s only two.  He probably just doesn’t know any better.  But I could see it in his eyes.  He knew better.  He knew exactly what was going on.  He was absolutely clear that he was violating the no-trespassing zone.  It wasn’t a lack of understanding; it was an act of defiance.  That just made me even angrier.

With fire in my eyes, I said, “Aaron, you get down right now.”

I could almost hear his brain working.  He was considering his options.  He looked up, assessing the probability of whether he could make it without being stopped.  He looked down and seemed only to remember why down was never an option.

Then he did the strangest thing.

He rose to his feet and turned toward me and, with a look of desperation, simply said, “Daddy, carry me.”  I almost gave in, but somehow I knew this was a defining moment.  This was an epic battle for who would rule.  If I gave in now, he would control me forever.

So I said, “No.  You got up; you get down.”

He paused, seemed to reflect, and repeated, “Daddy, carry me.”

I knew I needed to stand firm, so I repeated, “No.  You get down.”  He asked me once again, and once again I refused.

Then it happened.  I never would have expected it.  It took me entirely by surprise.

He jumped.

He jumped right into me.  Even when I refused to carry him, he somehow concluded that I would catch him.

Well, we couldn’t have that.  So as painful as it was, I just moved out of the way and let him go crashing into the wall across the hall.

I’m just kidding.

Of course, I didn’t.  It never even occurred to me.  All I did was act on instinct.

When he jumped, I just reached out my arms and caught him.  I brought him close and held him tightly.  It was one of the best moments of my life.  I don’t know when I’ve ever felt so close to my son.  He was only two.  If I asked him to tell me who God was, he would have had no idea.  Imagine if I had asked him to explain how the world came into existence.  The truth is, he knew very little about the world around him.  In fact, he knew very little about me.

He didn’t know my history, had never looked for a police report, had never done a background check.  As far as he knew I could have been a mass murderer an escaped convict or a hockey player.  Clearly, though, he knew more than I thought.

He knew if he jumped, I would catch him.

He was afraid to even attempt to climb down but was more than confident to jump off.

He had more confidence in me than he did in himself.

Sometimes we try to make truth sound like it’s all about information, but really Aaron didn’t know much about me when it came to information.  He didn’t even really know my name.  I was just Daddy.  The truth is not about data.  Truth is more than the gathering of information.

Truth is about trust.

If nothing can be trusted, then there is no truth.  Then life really is arbitrary and meaningless.  But the truth is, Aaron was right.  He could trust me with his life.  He knew something deeper than information.

He had come to know something far deeper than knowledge.  He knew me.

Aaron knew he could trust me.  There was so much he didn’t know, so much that was uncertain to him.  Most of the world was a mystery.  You would think all that doubt would paralyze him, but he didn’t really have to know everything.  In the end, if the only thing you know is who you can trust, it can take you a long way.  If you would come to trust God, you might find yourself jumping right into His arms.”

‘Nuff said.


  1. I don’t really know what to say about that besides, that was awsome! Now I know that I indeed do have to go buy that book…..again…..but for me:)

  2. loved this…thanks for taking the time to post it.

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