what is truth?

“what is truth?”
a sincere question?
or an insolent retort?

from Pontius Pilate
to the freshman at Kansas State University
the words are often repeated

for the sincere questioner
the truth about Truth
may be revealed

dictionary.com (full definition):
TRUTH, n.
1. the true or actual state of a matter:
2. conformity with fact or reality; verity:
3. a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.

but perhaps for the sincere questioner
(the one who really wants to know Truth)
this question is the wrong place to begin

ἀλήθεια {aletheia}
literally “not-lie”
truth; fact; knowledge

to ask, “what is truth?”
is to request knowledge
to seek out the facts

not a bad desire
but in order to know Truth
perhaps there is a better question to pose

the one who really wants to know should ask, “Who is Truth?”
for Truth is more than facts and knowledge
he is the foundation, established from the beginning

אֱמֶת {emeth}
truth; firmness; faithfulness

if only Pilate would have known what to ask
he would have found the answer right in front of him
for before him stood Yeshua, the Truth

moments after asking, “what is truth?”
Pilate sent the embodiment of Truth to His death
and the very foundations of the earth were shaken

but Truth was not only established from the beginning
Truth is established forever
and not even death itself could hold Him

Yeshua, the living Truth
rose from the dead
Truth cannot be destroyed

this is the truth that I want the freshman at Kansas State University to know
as well as all other sincere questioners that I may encounter:
Truth stands firm when every other foundation has been shaken

whisper

whisper

listen!
secretive, mysterious
approaching, murmuring, speaking
only wind in leaves?
no…

look!
usual, mundane
strolling, wandering, exercising
just a normal walk?
hesitate…

feel!
moist, breezy
misting, breathing, caressing
something here I missed?
yes…

smell!
wet, fresh
rejuvenating, growing, living
may I have it?
perhaps…

taste!
pleasant, enticing
taking, consuming, digesting
absorbing the given missive!
ponder…

“…you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:3

my brothers have not died in vain

I am pressed hard
by the weight of my brothers’ death
but not crushed
for my brothers and I do not carry the weight alone

I am perplexed
by the insanity of it all
but not to despair
for my brothers and I are set-apart saints

being hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; being perplexed, but not in despair;
{II Corintians 4:8}

their persecution
assures me that they lived for Messiah
they are not forsaken
for death is gain; they have gone to live with Him

they were thrown down
forced to their knees on the sand
but not destroyed
for they were more than the bodies they left behind

being persecuted, but not forsaken; being thrown down, but not destroyed;
{II Corintians 4:9}

what was my brothers’ crime?
“carrying around the Cross illusion in their heads”
bearing the death of their Master in their bodies
they too were delivered to death

yet they do not share
only in their Master’s death
but the lives they lived mirrored His life as well
marking them as his followers

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Master Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be manifested in our body. For we, the living, are always delivered to death for the sake of Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be manifested in our mortal flesh, so that death indeed is working in us, but the life in you.
{II Corintians 4:10-12}

what am I to do?
I cannot remain silent
my brothers would not have me mourn for them in secret
for all this was for God’s glory

they did not die in vain
any more than their Master died in vain
no, just as He was raised to eternal life, so will they be
and we who are left must speak up about it

But having the same spirit of belief, according to what has been written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised up the Master Jesus shall also raise us up through Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all this is for your sake, so that grace, having spread through the many, would cause thanksgiving to overflow, to the glory of God.
{II Corinthians 4:13-15}

the pressure of knife to neck
may not have seemed slight or momentary at the time
but my brothers now see it for what it was
in the light of the weighty glory they now know

how much less what I experience?
why spend such time and effort looking at what I see with mortal eyes
and ignoring what I can’t see
but know lasts forever?

Therefore we do not lose heart, but even if our outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary pressure, is working for us a far more exceeding and everlasting weight of glory. We are not looking on what is seen, but on what is not seen. For what is seen passes away, but what is not seen is everlasting.
{II Corinthians 4:16-18}

this is why my brothers died
because their bodies were temporary and destructible
and a mansion awaited their souls
in the presence of God Himself

God Himself, who promised me a mansion with Him
calls me to spread grace and thanksgiving while I can
because my body is temporary and destructible
this is why I live

For we know that if the tent of our earthly house is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens.
{II Corinthians 5:1}

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three little words

I love you

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Those three little words will be said many times
before this fourteenth day of February is through
and in many different ways

I can’t help but wonder
how many of these declarations of love
will prove meaningless…

From the child on the playground whose culture tells her that
any relationship between the sexes must be romantic
to the grown up who hasn’t outgrown that same belief

But how many will let today pass without declaring their love?
How many fear those three little words?
And will let their fear win?

Why,
when we love someone,
are we afraid to say so?

Is it because we give in to the culture
when it defines love
as a romantic emotion?

Is it because we think
that our love
will be unrequited?

Is it simply because
we doubt
ourselves?

Love is too big and important a thing
for a mere mortal…
When we love, we feel the weight of it

And when we love, we fear the weight of it!
This heavy yoke…
it seeks to control us

We have seen it before —
one who has fallen in love
and is lost to all but the one he loves

But what is so wrong with that?
That is, so long as it is not the transient emotional sort of love that leads…
If the object of true love is good, why not let love lead us into a life driven by love?

For love is of God
and everyone that loves is born of God
and knows God

and I was terrified

I was in the dark
praying for a sign
something to let me know He hadn’t forgotten

in the night
keeping watch, but not for Him
forgetting everything He promised

Then it came

glory and radiance
surrounding me
unmistakably telling me He had never forgotten

and I was terrified
hid my eyes
forgetting that this was the promise I was waiting for

Then He spoke

He said do not fear
I have good news
and not for you to keep for yourself, I want you to share it

I have a gift for you
here is the sign you prayed for
it may seem mundane at first, but this is the promise you’ve been waiting for

Then I heard

the glory became
even more overwhelming
but this time I opened my eyes, took it all in

as the visible glory faded
I remembered
got up, left the place of fear, and carried the gift to anyone who would receive it

{inspired by this true story}