The Keeper of the Truth:
(Click for Audio Version) We’ve heard it said that we all deserve the truth. Our children deserve to know the truth. Buy the truth and sell it not (Proverbs 23:23). Know the truth and it will make you free (John 8:32). And from Hollywood we find the infamous conversation between an attorney and the colonel on the witness stand in “A Few Good Men“:
Col Jessep: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
LTJG Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.
Col Jessep: You want answers?!
LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!
And one of my favorite quotes of all times because there is so much “truth” embedded within it:
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” ~Albert Einstein [Source]
Why the focus on truth this morning?
Part of it is politics, and I’m tired of all the lies, partial truths, fake truth, fake news, real news and other garbage reports that are filling the news cycle. It does not revolve around a single person, rather we are in a state of shark frenzy.
The main part is from a quote I read late last night as I was finishing up my day.
“There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn’t work.” ~Irving Kristol
One set of Truth doesn’t work for all? A powerful statement. If true, does it undermine our democracy and the republic on which it stands???? Can we promote layers of truth and only a few get to know the complete and unadulterated fact? Is the truth of the matter something we peel apart like the layers of an onion until we get to the heart of matter? Isn’t this what we do with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny? Start off with a good story and then eventually reveal that they are figments of our tainted minds?
I remember a childhood thought, probably between 4 and 6 years old. Let’s see, that would be anywhere from 1959 till 1960, or so.
- “How can he make it around the world to every house with a sleigh and reindeer, and carry every single gift with him?” (in Deer Park, Tx)
- “Why is a Bunny interested in Chicken Eggs?” (at Garner State Park in South Texas while camping in the cold holiday period known as Easter).
Of course, the truth was revealed and I became aware of the concept of fables, parables, and children stories. A fable is simple “A short story, often with animals as characters, conveying a moral.” It’s different than a parable, but along the same lines:
Either way, neither has to be a “true” story, only one that conveys a truth or a moral idea.
Are we living in a time of truth? Can we handle the truth? What would this world be like if the truth of every matter was completely revealed on all levels? Are we hiding the truth to protect those not able to deal with it?
“It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense.” ~Mark Twain [Source]
And the truth of this quote? He may have taken it from someone else. We may never know.
Here’s My Thought: Who is the keeper of truth? I suspect there is truth in everything we know, and everything we are, and even in everything we hear. It was Tolstoy who said, “Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.” There is probably a nugget of truth that takes a lot of work to reveal. It’s not that what is washed away is false, or a lie, rather, it’s the stuff that obscures the nugget.
The fairy tales stories so prevalent in Disney movies today are nothing like the original stories written and told to children on dark, stormy nights. But we use the lighthearted version to introduce children to a version of the truth as revealed by the original story teller. Imagine their surprise and horror when they learn “the truth”!
It’s not that we are building a system of lies and deception, rather, we reveal just enough of the facts as the audience can handle. Time and again we are surprised when we learn “the truth”. A famous person’s death was not natural. What?!!? Then the juicy facts slowly rise to the surface, and the shark frenzy begins again with everyone attempting to analyze and report their view.
Politicians, actors, authors, performers, and anyone else with a public persona has truth hidden behind the cosmetics of a lot of work. Teams of staff work hard to keep the image polished. Negotiators, publicists, agents and even attorneys, allow inside access as long as certain facts never come to the light of day.
Why? Maybe it goes back to Colonel Jessep previously… “You can’t handle the truth.”