Divine, heavenly truth

When I was a young girl I was blessed to have several girls my age within a few houses of mine who were regular playmates for me. Oh, the trouble we’d get in. Not really. We weren’t wanton:

|ˈwänt(ə)n| adjective: (of a cruel or violent action) deliberate
 and unprovoked: sheer wanton vandalism.

We were wanton:

 literary lively; playful: a wanton fawn.

Actually, we were just girls wantin’ to have fun. We’d get together with our one or two Barbies each for some prepubescent pretending, or spend the afternoon doing our best Tarzan and Jane impressions on the branches of my friend’s willow tree. We’d have sleepovers with lots of giggling and gorging, and in the summertime put on little “theatrical” productions for the other kids in the neighborhood. Good times.

As we grew, our time together became less about play and more about porch sitting. We’d just hang out on my friend’s massive front porch steps and talk…don’t remember about what. Probably boys. But I do remember that occasionally we’d do something dangerous. Something risky. (Oh, boy…here it comes.)

We’d get brutally honest about each other’s faults.

“Let’s tell each other what we don’t like about each other.” I seem to recall even being the one to suggest it, though I was likely to bear the longest list of offensive behavior. The openness and honesty that marked those infrequent but memorable exchanges felt so right and good to me, even with the accompanying discomfort and sometimes hurt feelings. Like painfully exposing and removing a stubborn sliver, getting out some of these heretofore hidden thoughts and feelings seemed like the healthy thing for good friends to do. And I do believe it contributed to deeper, more honest relationships.

Looking back, I think I valued those candid conversations because even then I valued and sought truth, despite the potential for hurt. It’s why I was never fully on board as a Catholic and why, when I finally got serious about spiritual things, I investigated the evidence before committing myself to believing in Christ and the Christian worldview. And it’s why I get so frustrated today with those for whom truth is relative, illusory, unknowable, amoral, or irrelevant.

Do you know what the world would be like if everyone so valued truth that they never strayed from it? Never twisted it, distorted it, disregarded or denied it? No duplicitous politicians; no greedy, thieving business owners; no lying through their teeth world leaders; no fake news. It would be pretty darn close to heaven, I would say. And that’s the truth.

I suspect that for many truth is undervalued or denied because they intuitively associate truth with God, and they deny or reject him. And even if they don’t subconsciously discern the “divine” nature of truth, if God does not exist honesty is not objectively binding and integrity is merely optional. We may rail and protest against the lies and perceived misdeeds of others, but such immoral behavior certainly shouldn’t surprise us in an increasingly secular society. And without a transcendent, objective standard of morality we have no real foundation to stand on as we judge.

Thank God there will come a day when all lying will cease and everything hidden will be revealed, and I long for it. Truth will reign, and the one who is Truth will welcome into his eternal presence those who sought him. But to those who suppressed and denied the truth in this life he will grant an eternal existence separated from Truth. To some that may seem like heaven, but I can assure you, it will be hell.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6