Truth – I didn’t realize what a volitile word it was until last night. I dared to make a comment about levels of truth, the truths of my life as opposed to a greater truth that I come to know through the interactions with others whether in person or through things that I read.
That seemed to be heady stuff for the group. Only eternal, unchangeable things could truly be called truth seemed to be the outcome. Otherwise, we should use the word “perception” or “incite”. To call something “my” truth seemed almost to be a type of sacrilege. And yet, the very definition of eternal unchangeable disallows the word true or truth to be linked to any constructs of our understanding of anything.
Take the story we were discussing in which the word truth came into contention — The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Admittedly a man-made construct, the purpose was to tell a children’s story that had some deeper meaning. So in it, when Peter and Susan can’t accept the event in Lucy’s life that she says is true, they go to the professor. Their options are that she, who has up to now been thought to be truthful, was lying or, more frighteningly, she was not sound in her head. Since the construct of her story could not be lined up with the immutable truths of their lives — the wardrobe verifiably had a solid wooden back, Lucy could not have an experience several hours long when only a minute or so had passed — they could not fathom another option. It takes the professor to help them even consider the possibility that she might be telling the truth.
Let’s take the simple factor of time. In the space of that time period which to Susan was a few minutes of time, Lucy met the faun, was convinced to walk with him to his house, had tea, was put to sleep by Mr. Timnus’s music, had the discussion about the witch’s designs on her and walked back to the lamppost and through the wardrobe back to the spare room. For this to be merely a “perception” or “incite” would make no sense. She has experienced a truth in terms of the time continuum that is out of sink with the others. Peter gives her the option of admitting it was a story she made up but Lucy denies that it is. She stands by her story even though the attitude of the others is painful for her. For Lucy to accept the fixed ideas of truth that she had been raised with would be to deny the truth of her actual experience. The professor contradicts expectations of what is mature thought by causing Peter and Susan to begin to question their fixed ideas about what exists and what is possible. of what is “truth”.
Have you ever been in the position where some experience has called you to question all that you once held as solid? I have and have too often chosen Edmund’s option, not out of spite but out of fear of the opinions of others. It doesn’t change the truth of what I experienced and slowly the closets of my being get stuffed to overflowing with the things I try to hide to be acceptable. The freedom of just relating with the Creator I believe in get shackled by denials that God could directly interact with me since others reject the experiences that have made that God real to me.
The Bible says, “You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” I grew up with rigid views of religion called “truth” that bound me instead of freeing my soul. Yet when I hit bottom emotionally all these rigid truths could not call me to life. It was the relationship with a power higher than I am that held me in those times. In my life, that relationship is the only truth I know how to stand on. It is only in that relationship that I find hope.
But I look forward to hearing from you. You see, the God that I believe in was great enough to create a world that no lifetime is long enough to fully understand. If that is true though, than the God I know is big enough to speak through that world in ways that will be heard with all the diversity of those who inhabit this planet with me. There is so much to learn about this One who has somehow reached into my life in ways I don’t even understand. There is so much to learn about this God that has revealed deity in ways beyond my cultural norms or fixed ideas.
Sorry, you will have to accept me talking about the “truth” in my life instead of keeping the word truth for some eternal construct out there that none of us can know on our own. When I allow others to limit truth to what they understand, I feel trapped and cornered by doubts. It is in the questions of life, in the acceptance of these personal “truths” and other “truths” that I may never fully comprehend, that I am reminded of the One who is greater than our understanding. And when I rest on the reality of those questions, I am free.