As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written ‘letters from the heart.’ Each will be accompanied by corresponding relevant scripture verse(s), and linked to sources for further study. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please send us your ‘letter from the heart’ by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey of repentance, meditation, and anticipation day-by-day, to its glorious culmination on Easter morning.
Recently I called a close friend. When his wife answered the phone, I learned that he had been rushed to the hospital for a surgical procedure. She then assured me that his visit had been a success and he would return home the next day. The following day, I called again and heard his voice on the line. He mentioned that he was helping his wife with the next Sunday School lesson. Near the end of our conversation, he said: Trust and not discuss. At first I was puzzled. Moments became forever. His feelings and thoughts seemed incoherent; or was I insensitive and blocking what he was trying to say to me?
Later that evening I reviewed the definition of trust – to have faith or confidence in the integrity, honesty, or justice of another person, relationship, community, etc. Trust is a foundation of our faith. It is ‘to know Christ and make him known.’ But what about ‘?’ Surely we need to witness by verbally communicating what we believe.
This Lenten theme challenges me to become more involved in searching, asking and listening. With God’s help I trust I will become more active by looking forward…dreaming, visioning, evaluating, giving and asking myself how and where I need to grow and listen to the Spirit within as well as to the community in which I live and worship.
I have learned that to trust more and discuss less is a false proposal. The Bible is a book of sacred writings, a living legacy of believers who not only witnesses the Word but became the inseparable personification of the Word. Teaching and speaking the Word must also be shared.
The writer of Hebrews 11:1-2 affirms the meaning of my faith: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors receive approval.” Hebrews 11:22 includes Joseph among those who are listed with the endless line of splendor – the faith-believers. The writer concludes, ‘By faith, Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.’
My meditative journey has led me to be thankful that I keep company with ordinary people with extraordinary beliefs and incredible faith in the hope of what tomorrow will bring. I continue to discover that there is a common equation that channels the lives of faith-believers like my friend who witness with Joseph concerning the goodness of God. I too remember that Joseph is not a mere figment of imagination, neither a question mark nor footnote on the pages of history. He was not a mythological character to whom we pay homage in time of trouble, but one who was chosen by God to do His Will.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
If you enjoyed this Lenten meditation, you can find more at Sharon's Columbia Biblical Studies Examiner homepage.