One Good Man –
My wife was asked on Monday and Tuesday if she had been abused. It’s startling but understandable. She had oral surgery last week and they had to remove part of her jaw bone to get the job done. They used a tool to keep her mouth open as wide as possible and the result was a large bruise on the left side that stretches from her bottom lip to below her chin. It looks as someone punched her in the face. Her father was the first who asked, more than once I might add, to make sure she wasn’t being hurt by me or anyone. The next several times were by the nurses and doctors when she had another small procedure done on Tuesday. They asked her if she was being abused, felt safe. Beth and I were talking about this when she came home yesterday evening. She said; “People asked about me being abused by my husband.” I told her I was thankful and wanted her to feel safe. I think a good man and a father wants to know (for sure!) that his daughter is not being harmed. Beth’s dad is both and I wouldn’t expect anything less. A good doctor, nursing staff, will do the same.
I’m still haunted by the Supreme Court hearings that concluded last week. Testimonies were given, victimization claimed, both parties using a woman as a political prop. It broke my heart and made me angry. I kept waiting for one good man, from either side, to step up. Then the President went to a rally and insulted, demeaned, and accused the woman who testified at the hearings of being a; “hoax.” Then men stood up…and cheered.
Why is being a good man, which is the only way to be a good husband, father, and friend, in such small demand these days?
When Truth Isn’t Truth –
This past Sunday, on a news show, President Donald Trump’s attorney uttered an interesting phrase; “Truth isn’t truth.” I don’t want to get into the politics of why it was said and how similar the statement was to Bill Clinton’s; “It depends on the definition of what ‘is’ is.” For those who know their history, this whole investigation is eerily similar to what happened in the late 1990’s except the two parties have switched sides.
My question is; “What is truth?”
It is the same question Pontius Pilate asked Jesus before he was crucified. In the gospel of Saint John, chapter eighteen reads; “Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate.”
Pilate’s world was politics, not conviction. He was stuck in this black hole of a place called Jerusalem and wanted to get out as soon as possible. Jesus had upset some influential people and he wanted the mess to go away. Later in the chapter, he gives Jesus over to these people to have him killed and even “washed his hands” of the whole situation as if choosing not to be involved is not being involved. He even questions Jesus, stands toe to toe with the Master, declares that he has no evidence against Jesus, but allows his crucifixion anyway. The truth was too dangerous.
“What is truth?” “Truth isn’t truth.” “I am the truth.” “Know the truth and it will set you free.”
Wisdom is the search for truth and to accept it wherever it leads us. The problem is that the truth leads us on a journey that often stands against power, sides with the poor and downtrodden, make choices that angers influential people, puts us on the side that often loses. Truth has never been and will never be an easy way.
About Last Night –
Yesterday evening, I sat in front of our fire pit and thought about all the chaos which was happening in our elections. I didn’t watch TV or know the election results until I woke up this morning. I was surprised by who won but not surprised that either one of them lost.
Out of 300+ million people in our nation somehow we possibly chose the worst two to be eligible for president. Maybe that’s an over-simplification but I do know the relentless negative campaigning, neighbor yelling at neighbor, hurtful and wrong things said to each other behind the disguise of social media; people telling each other why they’re wrong, misguided or just dumb, has worn me out. So last night I couldn’t bring myself to keep up with the results nor hear, read, more unkindness, acrimonious name-calling.
Today, I’m still exhausted from the worry of the past 18 months and the new anxiety of next 4 years. No matter what side you fall on, the realization that our world is going to hell isn’t a surprise. No matter who sits in the oval office they have an incredible and indescribably difficult and dangerous job leading our nation and the world. I don’t envy them but I do hope and pray that beneath all the bluster and campaign promises, foolish words, immaturity, asinine behavior, there is a man who allows the weight of it all to settle on his shoulders. I pray the weight will drive him to his knees and turn arrogance into humility, rivers of words into silent wisdom, a growing realization that to save our nation he will have to sacrifice who he is, at his core and from those ashes will rise the leader we all need, not the one we got.
They’re popping up everywhere! Like spring time weeds or blossoms depending upon your point of view. Presidential candidates are declaring their intentions to capture your vote and the white house in 2018.
As a middle aged man I remember a time when I passionately picked a side, slapped on a bumper sticker and did my best to persuade other folks to the join cause… that was a long time ago. Almost three decades later after countless scandals, lies and promises unfulfilled, anger and venom spewing from both sides I’m convinced politics, in its current state, can’t fix our troubled and deeply divided nation. I wish I had an answer. I do not.
Maybe a wise, humble, woman or man of conviction and vision will step forward. For the sake of the nation and the world, I hope so.