Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Weight of Truth

C.S. Lewis' book of essays, The Weight of Glory is perhaps my favorite title of any written work, ever. It certainly eclipses the beauty of a phrase like The Weight of Truth. In fact, when I consider the sound of this latter grouping of words, I'm embarrassed to keep writing. There is not much that will join the two titles save for the prescient word, Truth.

When one stops to think on it, truth is a rather hard thing. It evokes a great bit of ugliness before it is realized to be a beautiful, saving thing.

Truth has hurt many a feeling; my own wounded pride and the borne scars of others on the receiving end of my Gatling gun tongue are evidence of its impact. What has been said, may not be true, and may be a lie straight from the pit of hell, but truth is bedrock. The effect of words, the washing of them over and in our auditory canals is a kind of truth. And, when we are imprisoned by deafness in a physical sense or deaf in the figurative, we still rely on truth as our frame of reference. Any argument presupposes there is truth. Why else would one ever open their mouth to state a position?

Relativism has spawned statements like:

there is no such thing as truth, or absolute truth is confining and judgmental.

Embedded in those very assertions is the truth itself, always hovering, and bleeding into the foreground. It cannot be shaken off and there is no place far enough to run from its reach.

Could that have something to do with the fact that truth has a giver? As I consider its import, it should be little surprise that God himself in Christ made exclusive claims of authority, buttressed by truth. When he said, for instance, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. What do you make of that audaciousness?

What do you mean there is no other way? Why can't I do it MY way, like Frank, or Elvis? Or what about the other world religions? Can't they be good enough? Aren't they nice harmless people, and to some, far less violent or hateful than the smug, churched American?

When it finally, comes down to it, one must accept or reject the truth. And the truth is, no one is good enough. No country, no politics, no religion, no man, no woman. No one could do it right, no one has the truth to impart save for the one who came to be truth, to do truth and to live truth forever. This the weight of truth: there is only one way.

2 comments:

Danny Bryant said...

I really enjoy reading your writing. You are such a graceful writer. I can just picture you saying it to me directly. You have an ability to make it feel like a personal conversation with great insight :)
Thanks for continuing to blog. I enjoy reading it!
Rebecca

Wallace Mercer said...

thank you, rebecca. kind words. i appreciate the encouragement.