Truth, Spring, and a Pearl


Every day the sky gets a little grayer and I wake up a little more awake, to use the same word twice in one sentence which is against my personal convictions. The trees are all delicate and lacy, the leaves gradually unfurling in tens of shades of green. Can’t believe it is really spring. I don’t think I ever really felt like it was spring, here, before, not like I remember it from the West. Somehow the dilapidated buildings of Binghamton stamp out the seasons as they arrive, one by one. But getting to be up here on this gentle incline, looking out over the sweep of hills, the true nature of the town hidden entirely from my view, makes each season it’s true Self.

I’m self identifying as liking Binghamton. And as someone who will do all the things, but only after I finish reading all the Internet. For true, I have spent the last two hours catching up on all kinds of interesting reading. Like the fact that even though it’s never been safer to be a child, we Think that it’s more dangerous than ever. And that declaring that Truth is not a thing is itself a pretty interesting truth claim. And that Rachel Dolezal is such a strange person. But best of all, that my intuitively astute sense that America is turning into a third world country is absolutely spot on. So many things to wave my hands about, it’s hard to know which way to turn.

I guess it will be to this tragic line, which I am taking out of context, as a lamentation, “The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.”

This is tragic. A topsy turvy Usual Human Attempt to make the truth about God and ourselves ever more difficult to not only perceive, but to grab on to. The only response I have is to turn to Jesus who told a short, pointed story about a man who once began to search for fine pearls. It was his trade. In all his going and coming he Searched Out something he knew to be beautiful and good.

I mean, what happens when you don’t go looking for goodness, for truth even? What happens when you call that very pursuit oppressive and wrong? That is itself a claim to what you believe to be good. The welfare of oppressed people is your pearl and you are out there hunting for it, turning over stones and looking people in the eyes to see what lies in the cobwebs of the heart. I imagine it must have been a slip of the pen, to call Truth an ‘entity’ that can be searched out. Because surely, Jesus, who is himself is an Entity, a Being, a Person, that precious and perfect Pearl who, once you have got hold of him, you would never want to let slip through your fingers, you would be willing to let all other goods go, abandoning everything in pursuit of him.

Moreover, there is no search for anyone, anything, that doesn’t involve some measure of danger. Because what’s a stake? Everything. Everything is at stake. The risk is your own soul. So of course the search is dangerous, and foolish.

But what an incredible richness when you find him. You lose your life, but you gain your soul.

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