The fourth letter of FRATERNITY is T. It stands for trust.
In 2009, when I was teaching a course at Lithuania International University, I gave several Chapel speeches. After one, a student asked, "Do you think we can trust God?" So, when I returned last January, I knew the topic I had to address when the chaplain asked for a repeat performance: trust.
Among other examples, I told the students how I lost a credit card on a business trip. I called the bank to cancel it, but Muslim colleagues with me stopped me. "Allah always takes care of you," they pointed out, correctly predicting my card would be in my hotel room. It was. I had forgotten that I had used it on the plane as a bookmark. The title of the book? Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God. A divine lesson on trust?
No matter how great our faith, we all need that lesson occasionally not only for developing greater trust in God but also greater trust of each other. For what do members of a fraternity trust each other? For a helping hand, not a turned back, when we are weak. For love, not criticism, when we have transgressed. For acceptance of our spiritual experiences and mutual sharing of the ways in which God works in our lives.
As I told the college kids, when we lack trust, we can always ask God to help us trust Him more. Similarly, when we lack trust of each other, we can ask God to help us be the kind of people that He would like us to be: loving, trusting, caring. I believe that God delights in answering such prayers.
Reprinted from an article I wrote for our SFO newsletter, Footprints, in which each of the letters of fraternity is being defined, one newsletter at a time.