“Telling the truth…”

My favorite Frederick Buechner book of all time is the small volume “Telling the Truth: the gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale.”  Now, Buechner is a master, and I love his way of articulating timeless, heavy, old truths in ways that are thoughtful, deep, and fresh.  I may post more on the book itself later (once I get another copy – it’s one of those books that you need to buy multiple copies of, so you always have one or two around to give away).  I bring this up because it seems to be a theme that has been running through my life – that of truth telling.

I found in the library today “The Courage for Truth” by Thomas Merton.  It consists of his letters and correspondence with Evelyn Waugh, Boris Pasternak, Ernesto Cardenal, Henry Miller, and Walker Percy among many others.  And while I haven’t started it yet, a blurb on the back caught my eye: “it shows the crystallization of [Merton’s] belief that speaking the truth is an obligation which ultimately brings persons of integrity into confrontation with power structures and vested interests…  these letters also testify to Merton’s conviction that contemplation is the source from which all action should flow.”

And as I look at what I write, I am brought back to my desire to tell the truth about what I see, what I think, and how the world works.  To tell the truth of my story, and to tell the truth of the stories that intersect with mine.  So maybe this will be my exploration of what it means to tell the truth – my journey as I strive to find the courage to tell the truth – and my joy as I am able to tell the tragic, comedic, and fairy tale aspects of this good news that shouts from the rooftops that no matter our brokenness and ugliness, God loves us anyway, and the story of stories will one day end happily, hope against hope, dream against dream.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to ““Telling the truth…”

  1. Liz

    I’m struggling with this thought, I love the idea of telling the truth but then actually getting down to telling it… that’s hard stuff, especially when it brings you into confrontation with power struggles. Thanks for this post.

  2. Ben

    I know… it is hard stuff… Let me know when you have it figured out. I have a few more thoughts and explorations on this percolating, mostly spurred by re-reading “The Prophetic Imagination,” and hearing a talk or two by Brueggemann (brilliant, funny, articulate, honest…) I’ve always loved him, but now I think it’s going beyond that… =)

    (thanks for the hair flip, by the way. I hope one day to have as many readers as you…)

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