Weaving the Web: Faith, trust, and oleanders

I’ve been pondering the relationship between trust and faith. Remember last year when the oleanders along the UUCPA entrance driveway were cut way back? Nothing remained but bare stubs. Our gardeners, paid (James Nelson) and volunteer (Nancy Neff, Glenda Jones), assured us that this was the way to make them healthier. Now they have grown up beautifully. They are just a bit taller than the fence, so they are close to obscuring its chain links, while still letting us see that we have neighbors: our friends at Stevenson House.

Is that faith? We trusted that James, Nancy and Glenda knew what they were doing. They helped meet any doubters halfway by putting up signs assuring us that the bushes were not being removed, and that they’d grow back better than ever. They also told us that they were following an arborist’s advice. So we could rely on a few things that we probably trust: the expertise and honesty of our own folks, a specialist’s advice, and the resilience of shrubs. All we had to do was wait. 

Now another hedge has been cut down almost to the ground: the one that borders the walk in front of Rooms A-D. James tells me the bushes were getting leggy and the inner branches were eaten away by snails. I wonder, is a sign needed this time? Or has our faith been strengthened by our experience with the oleanders?

All I need in order to know that these bushes will soon be back is trust in his savvy, which I have. But trust is the kind of thing that grows over time–in this case, mine is strong from years of seeing how well James tends all manner of plants. Is faith like that too: something that grows stronger through experience?

What do you think?