Who Else Can You Really Trust?

The Dashwood sisters from the 1995 Ang Lee movie based upon Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

The Dashwood sisters from the 1995 Ang Lee movie based upon Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

There was no way that I could have predicted this, but after writing about trust on Monday I discovered on Friday that trust was the theme for Five Minute Friday. Oh, no! What is a girl to do?

Enter my sister from stage right. Actually she entered from the door on the right, but now I have drama on my mind. I don’t remember what she came to tell me. I know it was only a few hours ago, but what she said wasn’t important. What she did set the wheels rolling in my mind. She had a dust mop and she swept the floor of my study while we talked.

After I had shared the trust that dogs have for us. I likened it to the trust we should have for God. I thought that I couldn’t find more to say on the subject of trust in one week. Who can you trust besides God and your dog? Your sister! For those who do not have a sibling that you have always been close to, you will have to think about a dear friend who has been like a brother or sister for you. You can trust a good sister.

In the book, Sense and Sensibility, Marianne and Elinor are close sisters who experience loss, injustice, grief, broken hearts and much more. They are very close friends despite the fact that they respond to the vicissitude of life in very different ways. Siblings teach us that we don’t have to agree with everything someone else thinks in order to love and care for them. Elinor, Marianne and their younger sister Margaret help one another through a period of upheaval because they have learned to trust one another.

My mother always stressed that everyone needs someone that they can trust to always tell them the truth. Sisters we were taught should stand with each other through good and bad times alike. My sister is someone I can trust to tell me the unvarnished truth, even if I don’t want to hear it. She will help me no matter what. She will also sweep my study floor if she is holding a dust mop and talking to me. That is another picture of true trustworthiness in my book, as well as Jane Austen’s.

This post is number nine in the series A Fresh Look @ Simple Things. It is also teaming up with the Five Minute Friday team at Kate Motaung’s. Check out what else is going on by following the links above.

Dragon-scales

Chickenpox Day 7
The sight of me surprised my sister’s cat. One of her cats is the typical one-person only, skittish, hide-under-the-bed type cat. Snowy has always been that way and days can pass without my actually seeing her. When she hears anyone come she ducks for cover. I have had chickenpox for enough days that I imagined everyone who lives with me was well aware of how I currently look. Last night I saw Snowy and realized that she could not have seen my face lately. The look of shock and fear were too evident. Yes, she knows me. She trusts me, but the deformity of my face covered in scabbed blisters was too much and her ears pinned back and she dodged back into hiding. As I registered the effect my visage had on her I could see my sister’s other cat, Pussywillow across the room gazing at me with adoration.Pussywillow

Pussywillow had self-assigned the role of nurse through the very real misery that is chickenpox in adults. He had devotedly watched over my chills, severe muscle pain, nausea, moaning, and ever-increasing skin blistering. I had pushed him off me because his weight was too much for my agonizing skin to bear. So, he had gently lain himself down by my side and quietly purred. He would lie over my head on the back of my chaise and ever-so-gently reach one paw down and rest it on my shoulder so lightly that I couldn’t even feel it as he sang his most soothing song in my ear. It felt like a benediction. As fear was betrayed in his sister’s eyes his were full of deep, abiding love. I was beautiful to him. He wasn’t looking at my face with its disfigured skin. He was looking into my eyes and deep into my soul. He saw me, not what I looked like. My sister and I joked that it was such a pity neither of us has found a human man who will look at us like her cat.

Later I saw myself in the mirror and was aghast. I don’t take my appearance very seriously, which is I guess a good thing, considering… even I was taken aback. All I could think is, “That’s not me.” I long to pull the scabs off like scales off a dragon. “I look like a monster.” I thought. Suddenly “Beauty and the Beast” and all kinds of children’s fairy tales popped into my head. Who knows, they may have originated in reassuring some child that the blisters of chickenpox or some other such thing would not last.

Now I cannot help but ponder how often we all feel like we are hidden under shells. We all have protective shells acquired to keep our feelings safe. We hide behind fashions, status-cars, houses, spouses, kids, jobs, titles, anything to make us feel immune to criticism. We build walls to keep us safe, but they can in fact become like the dragon-shell and turn us into a mis-understood “monster.” We judge one-another by the shells. We base our actions not upon fact, but assumptions about how someone who lives in that neighborhood, or has that profession, or that tattoo must be. In reality we are all much more alike than different.

What would the world be like if more of us betrayed the real suffering that is part of the human experience? I did not throw Pussywillow out when I became sick. There was a moment when he was determined to “knead” my blistered stomach with his long claws where I really might have considered it if I had felt strong enough to wrestle him. Fortunately, for both of us he got the message and stopped. But, honestly, I trusted this cat. He could have really caused me more pain, but I trusted him to be a good friend and he was. It was due to his sharing the hard part of the journey with me that he looked through the blisters and saw me. How would our communities be different if rather than hide our pain we helped each other though? What if we all pulled off some of our “dragon-scales” and let others care for us? Will you run and hide based on externals or will you get to know people through the good and the bad and look with God’s love at their heart even when they are wearing tired scales?