She takes an uncertain step forward.
She falls backwards, landing hard. Momentarily confused, she struggles to
regain her composure. A soft sob escapes her mouth.
She looks up at me. Waiting for me.
She feels my arms around her. Comforting her. Embracing her with confidence
She prepares to take a step once again. She has an expression of
determination on her face; her eyes are focused with purpose, her lips pursed
She flexes her leg muscles. Slowly she raises herself upright, one knee at a
time. Soon she is standing. Victoriously.
She is absolutely absorbed in the task at hand. She's not looking up at me
any more. She doesn't need to. She knows I'm there.
She sees me applauding her accomplishment, encouraging her, prodding her
onward. For the moment, she is full of contentment.
How long will it last? When will she stumble again? It doesn't matter. This
moment she is happy. She doesn't consider the next fall, or the next. She
doesn't need to.
She is confident that she can deal with them.
For she knows I am here for her. She knows I will be here for her. She feels
the warmth of my embrace. And she trusts me.
She doesn't think of the times that I allowed her to fall. She doesn't
understand why I didn't catch her those times, every time. She doesn't make such
calculations. She doesn't think in such terms. She doesn't need to.
Because she trusts me. Wholeheartedly. Implicitly.
She knows beyond any doubt that I won't allow her to get hurt. She knows I
will have a warm embrace, a hug and a kiss for her always. She knows there is
nothing better than being in my outstretched arms.
She knows that I am, and always will be, there for her.
She is my ten month old baby daughter, learning how to walk.
But she is also each and every one of us, learning how to grow.
In speaking of our relationship with You, we sometimes speak of our
Biatchon, "trust." Other times we speak of our Emunah, our "faith."
Bitachon is the warm embrace that we feel, the assurance that we find in
the depths of our heart and soul, that You are watching, caring and holding us.
It is without calculations.
It is just the simple certainty, the assuredness that You are with us.
It is the warm embrace my baby daughter feels when she struggles and stumbles
in learning to walk. It is the hug in the wee hours of the night that makes all
monsters disappear for my six-year-old son. It is the heart-to-heart talk that
solves all friendship problems for my ten-year-old daughter. And it is the
knowledge for my teen-age son that, at any point in his life, he will have a
listening ear and practical help available to him.
Bitachon differs from Emunah.
The two are almost paradoxical.
Emunah is the faith that all You do is good for us. That You are
infinitely wiser than us, and understand better than we what we must go through
in life to reveal our strengths and actualize our potentials.
Emunah helps us when we look back at the trials of our lives.
Emunah is how my six-year-old will look back at a punishment for
inappropriate behavior, realizing, in retrospect, that his parents have treated
him fairly, setting limits to help him develop as a person. Emunah is how
my daughter will look at an imposed consequence for leaving
a messy room, understanding that her parents want to inculcate in her positive
Emunah helps us deal with the past. To come to terms with the
difficulties and failures, hardships and the blows, that life showers on us.
It is the faith in knowing it was all for the best. That for some
reason beyond our comprehension it had to be this way.
But Bitachon assists us with the present and the future.
It is my uncalculated trust, the warmth all around me, right now, at
this moment, because You are with me.
It is the confidence that You will provide only good things for me in the
future because You are the ultimate source of good.
It is jumping from the cliff, while knowing that the landing will be soft,
because Your arms will be carrying me.
It is the certitude that You will chase away all of life's monsters. That you
are there with me in each and every new venture.
While Emunah confronts the pain of my past falls, Bitachon is
the confidence that enables me to attempt to take that next step forward.