Telling the Truth?

Blog Bulletin 

Published on: Thursday May 9 2024, 2:15 pm

“But I am telling the truth! Honestly!”

All of the hardest things in life I think is to be telling the truth and not be believed because the truth is so in-credible.

We live in a world where we often take lies, half truths, and obfuscations as an accepted part of public life in particular. I don’t know anyone who actually expects politicians to tell the truth and not attempt to give half answers. Public life no longer seems to require honesty, but thankfully private and personal circumstances still do require honesty, truth, and integrity. Real relationships always do need this, and without it, the relationship very quickly fails. 

The difficulty comes when the truth which we know in our hearts and in every fibre of our beings is something which is so unbelievable that others are tempted to call us liars.

I’ve come across this before, particularly when it comes to seeming miracles. Something amazing has happened, for example a miraculous healing at a church service. My friend tells me about it, but I wasn’t there and I didn’t see it. It stretches the bounds of credibility and definitely passes the bounds of science and anything we could expect in the normal course of things. But the person who has told me about it and who did witness it is somebody who I trust to tell me the truth. So what do I do with that? Do I trust the person who tells me, because I know them to be a truth teller? Or do I trust only what I “know” to be true and possible in the normal course of events in this world?

This question of trust and truthfulness is, I think, at the heart of coming to grips with so much of how God works in our lives. God works differently for each one of us, and most of the time God does work within the normal bands of the laws of nature and science, but sometimes he steps outside of them and confound all our expectations. Ascension is one of those moments, when Jesus was raised up bodily to heaven. Pentecost (next week) is another – when the Holy Spirit came upon all of those first disciples and they were empowered to speak with courage and boldness, where before they had been shy and frightened.

God is found in the very ordinary and the very mundane, in the peace and beauty of the spring garden and the ordinariness of the hedgerow flowers, in the joy of a cup of tea with a friend and a quiet conversation. God is also to be found in strange and seemingly miraculous coincidences and weird happenings that bring unexpected and unthought-of blessings. As we consider the reason Christ who rose to heaven at the Ascension in front of his followers, having only days before cooked and breakfast at the side of the lake, let us rejoice that, as George Herbert said, we can find  “heaven in ordinary”. 

Above all, when we encounter God, may we have the grace and the courage to tell the truth of that encounter no matter how unbelievable it may seem, for it is in sharing this good news that we bring hope and blessing to others, and enable them to see, and experience, and name God at work in their lives too. Nobody said it was easy, and sometimes we are not believed. But when that happens, hold fast to what you know is true, and the truth will (in the end) set you free. 

Revd. Talisker

Photo by Karl Magnuson on Unsplash