Why we have to wait for the truth
“He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him.” John 14:17a
So many of us watched as former FBI Director James Comey recently accused the Trump White House of lying. Our President’s lawyer has responded, and many in our nation (and indeed our world), wonder, “What is the truth?”
This is on the national level. Something has confounded us locally this week. What continues to shatter our community is the news that Randy Robert Stair, a 24-year-old Dallas, Pennsylvania man took his own life by gun after killing three fellow co-workers this past Wednesday at a grocery store in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.
These two stories are unrelated, but I think of a now famous response Kellyanne Conway gave earlier this year when she coined the phrase, “alternative facts.” Far beyond that initial isolated incident involving our President’s Press Secretary, Conway is speaking to the mess we find ourselves in these days. Here in this instant information age, she is on to something. We have different and often conflicting truths. Or sort-of truths. Or slants. Or one-sided perspectives. Or varying points of view.
The bottom line is it’s a mess. And it hurts. Specifically, it hurts us. We can shrug our shoulders. We can choose to be dumbfounded, lost, or ambiguous. We can long for a drink, an aspirin, or an extended tropical getaway, but these are temporary fixes. We are in this, folks. And what are we going to do now? Hide? Argue? Ignore?
I say we lean not into sensational headlines but into the sacred words anchored by God that reveal God. I say we turn or return to what seeks light not darkness, hope not despair. What does this? The guiding, grounding truth of God through the Holy Spirit. In God’s Word, we find the lens to see the world and then respond to it accordingly.
I was a little kid in the 70s and remember Walter Cronkite ending his evening news broadcasts with, “…and that’s the way it is.” I miss those days. Specifically, I miss the grandfatherly figure telling me the unifying truths of what was important, what I needed to remember, and ultimately what I was supposed to do with what I’d just learned.
John 14:15-21 tells us of another grandfatherly figure who remains available to us by way of the Holy Spirit. His truths enable us to find our way through the confounded stories that shatter or splinter us. Turn to Him. Spend time with Him. Know Him.
His truth is not instant like a packet of flavored oatmeal from the microwave, but when it does arrive, it does set us free — free from uncertainty, anger, anxiousness, and those sudden or harsh reactions that bounce us all over the place.
PRAYER: I have heard enough “news” today. Help me hear from You. Amen.