This month I find my mind consistently returning to the concept of the pinky promise. The pinky promise, as you might remember, is a promise made between two people, often children, which cannot be counteracted by another action. It is an unbroken bond between two parties.
When I teach my Christian faith to young people I introduce the Bible by describing it has two parts. The first part represents a pinky promise between God and his people sealed by spit (i.e., the Word of God). The second part showcases the power of a promise sealed with blood from God's only Son.
When I use this analogy, it generates so many questions in my own adult mind including: a) why isn't the pinky promise sealed with words alone enough and, b) why is there not a "grown up" version of this same pinky innocence. The reason why is that both the world around us and we ourselves are constantly changing. What we promised when we could not see the future, is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to follow through on when the future becomes the present.
This plays itself out in so many ways around us including promises made to:
a) Employees to care for their current situation, particularly difficult when an organization must respond to changing environmental conditions to stay solvent. For an example, click here.
b) Public servants to care for their future situation. For an example, click here.
c) Customers to secure their personal information. For an example, click here.
d) Spouses who fulfill their marriage vow of "Till death do them part." For an example, click here.
Broken promises, particularly the implicit "pinky promise kind" often trigger feelings of mistrust and a lack of confidence in the larger social structures through which we are required to interact. But, when we encounter the magic of a promise kept, we somehow believe in the impossible, including the possibility of everlasting life.