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18 November 2020
The vital role of trust
Words Barry Casey
I have a feeling that the term ‘social distancing’ is here to stay. I cannot recall ever using that phrase before, but it rolls off my tongue so easily now and seems to not only be embedded into our everyday language, but our culture as well.
We have all had to adjust the way we interact with others in every aspect of daily life. Not being able to touch or hug or even shake another person’s hand has become the ‘norm’ in our daily interactions. Keeping people at a distance seems so counter-cultural to who we, as Australians, are and is already having a negative impact on people’s emotional wellbeing. We are made to live in relationship.
Closeness and connection are what most people long for, and need, to cultivate and develop any ongoing, meaningful relationship with others. The question many are asking right now is: “How can we re-engage with others and develop intimate relationships in a post- COVID world, where touch is so important?”
True closeness – or intimacy – is so much more than being able to just reach out and physically touch someone. Intimacy is centred in ‘really’ knowing, and feeling deeply known by, another person to the point where we trust them in every aspect of our lives. The more we trust someone, the closer we let them get to us.
Intimacy brings a deep sense of purpose and meaning to our lives and relationships.
In John 15, Jesus invites us all into relationship with him – and not just a superficial relationship, but one founded and built on trust, acceptance, honesty and safety. His invitation to us is this: “If you want closeness and connection, a life full of purpose and meaning; if you want your life to count, then here is how you can get it – stay connected to me. ‘Your life will be fruitless UNLESS your life is INTIMATELY joined to mine’” (John chapter 15, verse 4). What an invitation!
Major Barry Casey is a Salvation Army officer (pastor) currently operating from Adelaide.