It happened last summer: I’d had it with the carpet. My son spilled a berry smoothie on it for the last time. Yes, it coordinated well with the beige paint I spilled on it a few months ago, but still, the carpet had to go and NOW. Maybe I was feeling a little too ambitious, but by the end of the day I was proud of the rolled up nasty, dirty carpet and linoleum strips that lined my driveway awaiting the dumpster.
The only thing that bothered me and my family now was the continual white bottomed feet and fine dusty floors that could never be swept enough. No, I didn’t have a plan when I ripped up all the flooring from the kitchen to the living room. I was hoping inspiration would come soon – I’d take it any minute…
Finally, my husband and I found ourselves at Lowe’s deciding on some hardwood covering for our bare floors and white washed feet. One steamy July morning my husband, along with some faithful friends, rolled up their sleeves and started laying the flooring.
Now, Adam is a master craftsman. He only does a project well. Like a wise, steady beaver he measures, draws it out, and measures again until he’s satisfied it will work and not look like someone just threw planks on the ground hoping they’d magically conglomerate together.
His starting point? A straight red chalk line. And he didn’t snap it until the level said it was straight. This was the most important line of the house. For the straightness of all the other boards depended on this line.
From there he went on to cutting and laying the remaining boards. The rest went smooth from there.
Here’s where the Truth comes in. Truth is that red chalk line. Yes, we could’ve laid the boards without it. We could’ve eyeballed what looked straight to us, compared it to other boards in the house, polled our friends who came over which one looked straight to them. But straight isn’t straight because I think it is or because popular vote says it is. Straight can be confirmed. A level calls straight. A ruler, rather than my artistic mom, properly determines straight. (sorry mom!)
When Adam was halfway down the house, and needed to confirm if he was still laying boards straight, he would compare it to the red chalk line. He didn’t draw a new line, he used the original one. All boards became straight when aligned with what was deemed straight.
Truth in our culture is the same way. It’s gotten a bad rap. Like it’s out to hurt someone. Yes, to find out what you thought was straight for all this time isn’t, can hurt our pride. But that’s what truth does. We bring our views and align them with truth, not re-measure truth to align with us and our views.
In building, you start with a cornerstone. All of that structure hinges on it. It verifies straight and what the angles will be. If faulty, the structure will collapse. Without an absolute cornerstone of truth in our individual lives and as a culture, we too are heading for colossal collapse.
In the absence of truth, we undermine the very structure that seeks to protect us.
In the absence of truth, you can’t call wrong wrong. Police officers who are employed to enforce the law, or truth, are left with their arms and legs cut off. They can’t enforce something if the law is only relative to what we believe.
Men in women’s bathrooms because they felt like a woman today? Really? Why not steal candy because you couldn’t afford it and wanted it? Can we not say that is wrong?
Truth is our backbone. Without it we are nothing more than a jellyfish. A glob of arguments and ideals but no form. No structure.
Somehow we’re told that by speaking the truth, we will hurt the person involved. It couldn’t be more opposite. Speaking truth doesn’t eliminate the feelings of the person involved. It doesn’t diminish the hurt, the pain, the struggle and confusion the individual is experiencing. Instead, it meets them where they are, and reaches in and gives hope. Hope that there’s something beyond all this yuck. Hope for better.
When we uphold the bar of truth and drag our struggles and point of view to it, we are aligned by it. We cannot twist truth to try and justify our actions without consequences.
It is possible. Followers of Jesus, don’t be whitewashed like my feet from all the dust left over by the dirty carpet this world leaves behind and forget who you are and that who you follow is the Source of Truth. We must know it. We must uphold it. We must fight to live by it personally and in our families. We must know the Truth, for only when we know it are we truly set free.