Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Broken Truth

A wonderful children’s book, Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, written by Douglas Wood with watercolor illustrations by Jon J. Muth, tells an imaginary story of how the world came to be so fragmented when it is meant to be whole and how we might put it back together again.

In a far-away land that “is somehow not so far away,” one night a truth falls from the stars. And as it falls, it breaks into two pieces—one piece blazes off through the sky and the other falls straight to the ground. One day a man stumbles upon the gravity-drawn truth and finds carved on it the words, “You are loved.” It makes him feel good, so he keeps it and shares it with the people in his tribe. The thing sparkles and makes the people who have it feel warm and happy. It becomes their most prized possession, and they call it “The Truth.” Those who have the truth grow afraid of those who don’t have it, who are different than they are. And those who don’t have it covet it. Soon people are fighting wars over the small truth, trying to capture it for themselves.

A little girl who is troubled by the growing violence, greed, and destruction in her once peaceful world goes on a journey—through the Mountains of Imagining, the River of Wondering Why, and the Forest of Finding Out—to speak with Old Turtle, the wise counselor. Old Turtle tells her that the Truth is broken and missing a piece, a piece that shot off in the night sky so long ago. Together they search for it, and when they find it the little girl puts the jagged piece in her pocket and returns to her people. She tries to explain, but no one will listen or understand. Finally a raven flies the broken truth to the top of a tower where the other piece has been ensconced for safety, and the rejoined pieces shine their full message: “You are loved / and so are they.” And the people begin to comprehend. And the earth begins to heal.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Risk Everything for the Gospel

A thief hears that the holy man of the mountain has one of the most beautiful diamonds in existence.  The thief determines to steal it.  He sneaks into the old man’s hut, finds the diamond and prepares to flee when the old man suddenly enters.  The thief is about to strike him, but the old man laughs and tells him to go ahead and take the diamond.  Halfway down the mountain the thief turns around.  He returns and hands the diamond back to the holy man, saying, “Give me instead whatever you have that allowed you to give me this diamond so freely and joyfully.”

 When our experience of loss and failure is planted in the fertile soil of faith, we become spiritually stronger and gain greater independence from immediate satisfaction.  We are more able to fight the good fight with enduring wisdom.  From “Faith-Rooted Organizing” pg.172.