Truth exists. Truth isn’t relative. Sometimes, however, truth gets buried beneath the details—layer upon layer of story that muddy up the process of discovery. Why conceal it? To quote Jack Nicholson’s famous line from the movie A Few Good Men . . .
“You can’t handle the truth.”
The truth is, once the layers of a story begin to accumulate, once personal involvement becomes so thick and entangled in the details, and once a step or two is taken across the line that exists between honesty and deception, well, handling the truth means handling the history related to that truth. For some people, it’s impossible to go there, to live there . . . with truth.
Handling truth. Handling lies. This has been my portion over this past week, sorting out the intricate details of a civil case. With the invaluable aid of the other eleven jurors sitting next to me, we did our best to dig through the layers of one particular story. In doing so, we reached a conclusion based on the minimal amount of evidence presented to us.
Yesterday afternoon, we walked away from one another and back into our own lives—our personal stories that now include a chapter called Room 327. The truth? Well, I think some of it remains back in that courthouse, buried in the hearts of the plaintiff and defendant involved in the case. Between the two of them, truth exists. I’m fairly confident in my conclusion, though, that neither one of them willingly wants to handle it. The story is so deep and its layers so thick that truth no longer has a commanding voice in the matter, perhaps only a faint whisper every now and again.
Handling truth. Putting our hands on the Bible and promising to tell it, so help us God.
So . . .
Help us, God. Help me, God. To handle the truth. To reverently, passionately, confidently, and with full assurance hold truth. Speak truth. Mean what I say and say what I mean. Put my hand on the Bible and have it signify something . . . signify everything, knowing that as I live my life before men, I first and most importantly live my life before God.
God is Truth (see John 14:6). He knows truth. And when I have failed to get to the truth of the matter as it pertains to my own life and to the lives of others, God alone holds the key to perfect understanding. He has sorted out the details, sifted through the layers, and that which remains hidden to us (sometimes by us) has already been found by him. Truth cannot be concealed from God’s eyes; truth is revealed . . . always, ever-present and crystal clear. Sometimes, however, our vision is blurred by the fig leaves we use to hide our many sins, our shame, and the overwhelming pride that led us to believe we could live independently from truth.
To live truthfully, is to bow soul-naked before God. Those unwilling to do so are those who have no fear of God. Instead, they fear man, a tangible fear to be certain. But it’s not an eternal fear. If we could really take hold of the everlasting, take hold of the truth that what is happening down here on planet earth is but a dress rehearsal for what is to come for our eternal tomorrows, then we’d no longer have to place our hands on the Bible and swear our allegiances to truth. We’d just live truth. Our word would be our oath and our souls would breathe easier. Our crosses would be fewer and our burdens lightly carried.
Handling truth. How goes it in your own life? Where does your allegiance lie? Who do you fear most . . . man or God? When was the last time you bowed soul-naked before your Creator and allowed him to sort through the layers of your story to get to the truth? You may not be able to handle the truth, but God can. God does. God is. And with the help of his Holy Spirit, he will release you from the fig leaves that are preventing you from your freedom walk in this earth-garden.
I pray that kind of freedom for each one of you today. I’m praying it for myself, to live so honestly before God and before you that we don’t have to waste a moment in the courtroom of life to get to the truth.
The truth is . . . my soul has been profoundly affected by my experience this last week. My heart is open to all the ways that God may want to use it to teach me more about him, more about his people, and how better to live that more in this earth-garden until he calls me home to his heavenly one.
Soul naked before the Father. Even so I come, Lord Jesus. Teach me to handle your truth. As always, friends . . .
Peace for the journey,