A Royal Flush

She talked about trust and she was the right one to say it.

Because we all trust her.

She holds us together—through phone calls or emails–her words string us like pearls; she is the strand on which we are threaded into one.

She likened building trust to playing poker.

Trustworthy leaders deal out a good hand of cards, she said. And then she made a promise to each of us–sealed words of affirmation scratched out on carefully chosen cards—mine a hand-drawn one by her daughter.

So here I am these weeks later, thinking about trust. Thinking about how it feels to hold a royal flush in hands—peek out from behind those cards and put on my best poker face.

But I’m not very good at poker. I like to lay my hand out flat—fan out what I’ve been dealt and play it up straight.

It’s best to have trust when you play that way.

And some people aren’t trustworthy.

I’m thinking this and remembering some of the hard ones—the times I’ve gotten hurt for showing my hand…not playing the game.

I gently touch the tender places inside and realize that—this time–they do not bruise.

She told us about a book she read. The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey. It says that when trust is high, work gets done quicker, and costs are low.

Yes, there are costs. But what about the profits? I let myself think about these for a time. I catch myself smiling. And I feel a tiny light inside, glowing.

When trust is high, profits are too. Does Stephen Covey say that?

I’m not sure but I’m wondering what kind of value can be stamped on the benefits of a trusting relationship.


A royal flush?


What to Do With a Few Good Aces (And Without)


  1. says

    Dear friend,
    It’s been so long since our paths have crossed. Life just took over for me. I didn’t write anything for two months. I missed it so much.

    I thought of you today and came by to visit. What beautiful words you have written yet again!

    I’m so glad I got to visit today.

  2. says

    And when he finished speakin’, he turned back towards the window
    Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep
    And somewhere in the darkness the gambler, he broke even
    But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep

    You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em
    Know when to walk away and know when to run
    You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table
    There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done

  3. says

    Interesting use of metaphors to discuss the thorny issue of ‘trust’ — I too like to place my cards open on the table – but found people resent you for it. Preferring that you didn’t, somehow it makes them more ‘honest and trustworthy…when they conceal the cards, and presumably bluff their way…

    nice imperfect prose,

  4. says

    Trust is risky, it can sometimes lead to hurt. But the alternative is, I believe, even worse. Going through life, doubting, not trusting, always watching over your shoulder, is not the way that I want to live. When someone trusts you it’s the best feeling. Thanks for this post.

  5. says

    We(my wife and I)have been keenly aware of how important trust is since we adopted 4 fetal Alcohol children. We hadn’t a clue how tough it would be to integrate these children into our family. They are in a constant state of lies and manipulation. So trust is nearly non existant with them.
    It’s sad that we have approach them with suspicion and guarded hearts.
    Yet they have taught us a lot about being a trust worthy person.
    Without trust we cannot move forward.
    Thanks for this post.

  6. says

    So true. When we trust we are free to live, grow, be who were created to be–that unique piece of God in the earth that no one else can be. And the profit is eternal. To be trustworthy is to provide a culture where no one is afraid to show their cards. Lord, help us get there! Thanks for this wonderful post, Laura!

  7. says

    I don’t know much about poker, but as I imagine a good hand dealt to us by LL, I think each of us is one of the cards and together, we form a royal flush. (I had to look up good hands to find out the best!)

    There’s more people on the team than there are cards in a royal flush, but you can be queen if you want! Is LL our ace?

  8. says

    ooh this is good. profound and true. i trust so easily… and yet i’m learning to put it in him, because i’ve been hurt easily too. he alone can hold the secret of the cards we’re about to play.

    i also find there are gems, though, like you, and like LL, who can also be trusted with that secret.

    thank you–for this beautiful contribution to imperfect… you always bless me. xo

  9. says

    I’ve never played poker, I am more of a memory match sort of girl. Laura, I lay my cards face-up on the table too.

    I reckon if someone would rather scatter and scoop my cards, my trust would drop to the floor. And then that person would play some 52-Card Pick Up with their own self. 😉


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