We both stood there on the edge looking down. The sun was out and it was hot. Not just the sort of hot it gets in the summer, but really sweaty, scorching hot. We left my house early in the morning and headed down to the river. We were playing around in the water when we noticed the large rock cliff above us. First one to the top is king of the mountain. We both raced to be the first one to the top. I got there first and only with a few seconds to spare as my friend jumped up off his last step on the rocky ledge. The view from the top was amazing and it felt like we could see the countryside. We were sweating from the heat and running up the trail to the top of the rocks that overlooked the water. “Are you scared”? I asked as we both looked down. “No, not at all, I’m not afraid, I can do it” was his response. He stepped forward, looked down and I wondered is he really going to do this. We both just stood their silent as I could tell he was trying to talk himself into jumping down below. Come on man, just do it. I stepped closer to the edge and now saw what he saw. Suddenly the enormous gad that divided us between the water and the ground beneath our feet. I was scared and wanted to back down, but I wasn’t about to do that in front of my friend. We both just stood there looking and not really saying anything. Somehow I managed to get the words out of my mouth and still to this day I don’t know what it was that made me say them. “Do you trust me?” I asked. He said, “Yes”. I reached over and grabbed his hand; we counted 1, 2, 3. The next moment all we could feel was the wind against our skin as we were heading down into the water and suddenly the cold water was enveloping us. We shot out of the water screaming and throwing our arms in the air. We had gone to the top, jumped and were still alive.
Ever had any experiences like that? I am sure at some point in your life you have been right there looking over the ledge, to scared to back out, but not really wanting to jump into the water either. Wishing someone was there to give you a hand, reach out to you and say, “Do you trust me? I am here to help get your through this.” As a kid growing up in Montana I was brought to this point many times. Whenever a challenge to jump from something high, ride our bikes off some huge jump we made or walk out on the ice covering the water, I was up for the challenge. We never let on we were scared. We were to cool to admit that and admit I could have used someone who would stand up and offer to help hold my hand. I just stood their many times talking myself into it and finally going for it. I am glad that I did, because I think that it helped me develop some self-confidence.
For most of my life going back to 5th or 6th grade, I have always been the person people felt they could confide in. Peers and friends would come up to me and say, “Can I tell you something?” “You have to promise not to say a word.” “Ok” was my response and I would listen to what they had to say and keep it to myself. I have heard lots and lots of stories expressing the inner hurts, pains, joys and happiness because people felt like they could trust me with what they were saying. Now there have been occasions where I blew it and shared information when I shouldn’t have, but for the most part, all of that information is still locked inside of me and will go with me to my grave.
I don’t feel like I there is something particularly interesting about me. Well I am a pretty hip, cool person, but really I am just an ordinary guy, so I am always amazed that people feel safe and trust me with the secrets they can’t or won’t share with others. Actually knowing that people feel that way about me does make me feel good, but I try to stay humble. I feel lucky to know that people trust me in that way.
Trust is not an easy thing and as someone who has survived being molested, I haven’t trusted most people, and it was predominantly other guys. The ones who had molested me were male cousins my age and I ended up believing that all guys would do this to me or that somehow something sexually inappropriate would happen between us. I grew up being very suspicious of other guys and always thinking they were either out to hurt me or just plain jerks. It wasn’t until I was in college things started to change. My best friend is actually the first guy who ever showed a genuine interest in me and helped me start to believe he was someone I could trust. Through hanging out and spending a lot of time together I was able to finally move past my distrust of other guys.
Now, years later, having men who have invested in my life and continually pour themselves into my life. Has allowed me to develop safe-trusting relationships with not only these men but with a multitude of other men as well. Having the ability to spend time building a relationship with another guy and allowing him to share about his life, means you have to be trustworthy. It means when he bears his sole, the things he has shared with you aren’t used against him and that you will protect his integrity no matter what. You value that man as much as you value your own life and in helping him you build a relationship built on solid trust. As men begin to get really involved in other men’s lives and get real they need the trust to be there.
When it comes to my kids I am more like a mother bear then my wife. Those are the most valuable things in my life and everything I do for them is because of the amount of love I have for them. People don’t get to be a part of my life or the life of my kids if I don’t trust you. You can be sure that if I have any doubt about you with my kids I will not even take a risk. My kids know this about me and know me well enough that they never have to question if I have their back or not. I am my kid’s biggest supporter and advocate. I am open and honest with them and have real heart to hear conversations with them so that they know they can trust me to tell me whatever is going on and I will still love and support them through it all. Even if it meant (God forbid) my daughters came and told me they were pregnant. What little brown hair I have left would suddenly turn gray the moment those words were uttered from their lips, but trusting in the relationships I have built for all these years I know we would be able to work through it.
Being able to trust another person is a big deal. Are you really willing to hand your children over to this person and trust they have your children’s best interest at heart. That’s a question many parents struggle with in many different capacities. It’s a tough one and often times we are left trusting God is protecting my child. It’s not the best part of parenting. There have been many times I have not wanted to let my kids go and do something, but they really wanted to and so in trusting they would make good choices I let them go knowing God is protecting them. Man, I am so thankful when they return to me.
Being a person who is trustworthy means you have demonstrated something pretty cool. For me it means that I trust you enough to hand my most valuable possessions over to you and you will care for it just as I would and return it to me with no harm done. As a man I want my family, friends and others to see me and say I am a trustworthy person. I have seen and know that I can trust him no matter what happens. He has proven time and time again that you can trust him. I would say that is a really true statement of myself. I have developed a trait of trustworthiness and I take that seriously.