Values of L'Arche: Trust

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by Jeremy Chia, Director of Development

In the coming months, we will explore the core values that enliven the characteristic spirit of L’Arche, here in Chicago and through its communities around the world. As a newer member to the L’Arche family, I embark on this series primarily for my own edification and interest in these lived values. I invite you to join in reading, reflection, considering how these values interact with your own life, and perhaps serving as a springboard for awareness, renewal and transformation.

Let’s dive in!  

Trust is at the foundation of most, if not all, relationships. Whether the parties involved are family members, college friends, marketplace colleagues, community organizations, or multinational companies, degrees of trust determine the nature and health of these relationships.

It’s probably not surprising that, in our L’Arche homes, trust is a foundational commodity that enables each member, whether a core member (person with an intellectual disability) or an assistant (direct supports person), to grow and flourish in relationship. What I find fascinating are the small, seemingly insignificant, acts or gestures that help to build trust.

During my first week, I was welcomed by Christianne, a core member and advocate of L’Arche. In this short time, she has greeted me enthusiastically by name, given me several high-fives, invited me into her home, asked questions about my life, and even asked for tangible help. It’s these small and intentional actions that already have me feeling closer in relationship to Christianne - quickly strengthening a connection that I’m eager to grow. Trust is building and as a result, my heart can be open to more.

I wonder how you interact with the value of trust?  What memories, experiences or symbols come to mind for you?  In what ways are you nurturing and growing trust in your life?  What small action can you take to strengthen a connection in your life?

I hope you found this reflection helpful and that it sparks openness and intention towards trust.

Jeremy Chia