As the storm that had prematurely awoken us this morning growled and raged about us, I mentioned to my husband that today’s theme for that Elul blogging project is trust.
“Well,” he said thoughtfully between bites of (insanely delicious, decadent) churro waffle, “I trust the aircraft maintainers with my life every time I go flying.”
There are times I can almost forget that my husband’s job is a little unusual. I kiss him goodbye in the morning, tell him I love him, and say, “Have a good flight. Let me know when you land so I can start preheating the oven.” I send him out the door and go about my day without really thinking about the risks inherent in a naval aviator’s job. Just about anything will start to feel normal after a while, including the fact that my husband’s “office” has an ejection seat.
Every now and then, something — such as an offhand remark over breakfast — will remind me that military aviation isn’t a desk job.
The man I love most in this world relies upon the men and women who turn the wrenches, whose clothes are smeared with every kind of fluid an aircraft can possibly bleed, who work night and day to chase down gripes and keep these complex, often persnickety machines ready to perform the missions demanded of them. My husband places his trust in these maintainers, and he proves that trust by strapping into the aircraft, shutting the canopy, and taking to the sky.
I have not met most of the men and women in whom my husband, his fellow pilots, and the students yearning toward their Wings of Gold place their faith, but I, too, must trust them. Although I am not personally betting my own life on their maintenance of the aircraft, I am depending on their work for the safety of one I hold most dear.
Trusting others, particularly through some strange transitive property of faith, is not easy. I have to trust people I have never met, whose work or skill I have no means of personally verifying. I wonder if they ever stop and think about how many people — spouses, children, mothers, fathers — trust them implicitly. I hope they don’t think about it too often, though; the responsibility is awesome, and perhaps too distracting to bear in mind all the time and still be able to function.
I think it is good for all of us to sit for a while, now and again, and allow ourselves to feel the weight of trust upon our shoulders. Chances are, there are people we’ve never met who have placed their trust in us. I hope I am worthy of it.
#BlogElul, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.