Friday, April 4, 2008
Daily Office Reflection: Difficult truths
Psalms 16, 17 * 134, 135; Exodus 16:22-36; 1 Peter 3:13-4:6; John 16:1-15
Truth-tellers are not always the most popular of people. Certainly our political leaders are deft at misleading, at dancing around points that might hurt their chances at re-election because they did not paint a rosy picture for the electorate to buy into. In our jargon we compliment people who can answer a question without offending someone: and that is a talent that is good to have...at times. But when it becomes an art form where there is little to no truth in what is being said, then there is a danger in this talent at softening a harsh reality which many times leads to purposeful misleading, if not outright lying.
We celebrate Martin Luther King in Lesser Feast and Fasts today, for he was murdered 40 years ago today by an assassins bullet while he was in Memphis, TN. He was a man who was elegant in his speech, and was a truth teller, unlike many today who have an ability for soaring rhetoric, with no substance and little truth or reality in their words. Martin Luther King was a truth-teller and paid the ultimate price for providing an unvarnished look at the world. Truth tellers don't hide or obfuscate facts making what they say, at times, hard to hear and can be pain-inducing.
Jesus says some difficult things today, which he acknowledges are hard for his disciples to hear, that cause them sorrow. He lets his disciples know he is causing them sorrow, but he has to do what is before him in order to get to the next phase of God's plan. Not everything in life is peaches and cream, just like not everything in life is a dark room without light. We can't have blinders on, and only look at one thing: we are pointedly told to see the whole picture today. We have an example in today's Gospel of truth-telling: sometimes things are difficult to hear, to live through, to experience, but there is joy in the morning, as Easter Sunday proves.