Early in my career as a minister I had a call from a member requesting a meeting.
I remember him sitting in the little office, moving his hat around in his hands. He was there to confess that he had been having an affair. He had been found out and one of the conditions imposed by his wife was that he go and tell the minister. Those were the days!
I hope I was smart enough to simply hear the confession but I suspect the pressure of wanting to say something helpful might have been too strong.
I went to see the wife. She had taken to walking, partly for the exercise but mostly to flare off the anger, like a flame beside an oil well. She railed and cried as we crossed gravel roads every quarter mile.
This thread ran like a litany through the conversation, “How can I ever trust him again? How can I ever trust him again?”
The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche put it, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Trust – fundamental and fragile.
This saying is no less true because it appears on posters. “Trust is like a paper once it’s crumpled it can’t be perfect again you can flatten the paper and try and make it as straight as you want but it will never be perfect again.”
Trust – It takes time to accumulate and an instant to lose. It is the first step to love, says Munshi Premchand; it is both the foundation and the lubricant of relationships.
I often wonder if this relationship went the way of Humpty Dumpty or if, in time, they were able to fashion a new mosaic of their marriage.