Actually I think that dress makes your bum look big said no man ever…. well possibly not ever. The truth never hurts is an old adage oft repeated, I am not so sure about all that. i have often spoken about integrity being important to me, and an essential part of that is an engagement with the truth. I have often prefaced answers to questions put to me with “never ask a question that you do not want to hear the answer to”. When I write I don’t ask people what they think, I have learnt the wisdom of that really quickly. Having written poems for some people spent considerable time and having them trashed because they didn’t rhyme or they were too long I just write and I don’t care/ People can like or dislike my poems or my blogs, they are what they are because I am what I am and the words that fall on my page, are sometimes w like whispering, perfect flakes of snow, unique, glittering, spectacular and other times like great gooey,gungy, gobs of black oily diesel smoke booming their way into peoples existence like a bloody great 18 wheeler. It is like this oft with the truth.
Today I upset a couple of people with the truth, neither had done anything spectacularly , although for one it was a culmination of a lot of annoying acts. Both asked me a question, and I didn’t preface my answer as I normally do I just said what I needed to. I have been attending church for the last couple of weeks, not so sure that it is a great idea. Well meaning people ask me how I am. A question which I used to dodge or just plain lie about when I am asked. I prefer to say fine thanks, even when on the inside I am far from fine. I have decided that I must be manopausal at the moment because I am so often feeling like breaking down in tears. It has been a hard year and at the moment my ability to deal with the physical issues is severely limited, none of my usual coping mechanisms are available to me, not able to cycle, walk very far, no red wine, no coffee, no cleaning sessions and none of that other relaxant (firmly single and unattached I am so no touch in my life).
I was talking to a woman at church she had overheard one of my conversations about being a teacher, anyway the subject of my physical issues came up, she immediately wanted to take me aside and pray for healing for me, this is where truth intervened. I had to say that right now I was not real sure about prayer for healing? I have seen many people die who have been prayed for, vital, full of life relatively young and if you wanted to use an adjective, these were good people. I have pumped the chest of a neighbor and poured my breath into her lifeless body and prayed for a miracle as her children wailed and cried a the door, all to no avail. I have no doubt about the power of prayer to bring comfort, I have been challenged at times to pray for strangers and one woman’s story sticks with me. A long story cut short was that she was in an accident, ended up in hospital and I wheeled her to x-ray, there was a strike on and I was volunteering. I asked her after feeling prompted to pray for her a number of times if she wanted me to pray for her. She broke down sobbing saying I have been asking God to send someone to pray for me for an hour now. I duly did, I don’t know her name, don’t need to, I know for her she was comforted and her faith was restored, I digress.
I didn’t want to be prayed for by this woman at church, (nor by anyone else really) I also didn’t really want to tell her why, she told me her story of her own miraculous healing, I could think of nothing but, if this story is true why not other people being healed? Too big a question for me in reality and not one I really want to engage with for many reasons. Back to the truth, the truth has not worked out so well for me this year. I have spoken it and been cutoff by people who either don’t want to engage with it or alternatively have a different narrative wound around their story. That has been very hurtful at times it has to be said. The problem is that I continue to engage with the truth.
I tell people when they are being racist,sexist, politically naive. I challenge people whose critical literacy around the news or current events is sparse. Be warned don’t go off half cocked around me saying always, everyone and other generalizations. Don’t speak to me of morality that is selective or is ideologically based. Oh and as to bullies, institutional or otherwise, bring it on there are some truths I will share with you. If you ask me how you look in that new top or dress, i will tell what I think!
One could wonder why I continue when the truth has not been such a positive thing in my life, well it is simply because a I care, I give a flying fox, it matters, it’s important and I think in the truth there is eventually a way forward in this shit awful, world that so cares about the illusions of success, popularity, feeling good, personal wealth and does not value integrity,
The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow a times for sure, finding out that someone does not love you, care for you, someone has spoken unkindly or untruthfully about you, there is no spoonful of sugar to make that medicine go down at times except for this, I know that I am imperfect, the redemption in this has been provided by the knowledge that I live my life in freedom because of grace and favour. This grace cannot be attained by good works, by living by the law or by anything I can ever do. It is a free gift that is available to all.