Where does truth come from? Do we know what truth looks like? How does one decide what is true and what isn’t? How can we look at the same facts and come to very different conclusions?
In her book “Inspired” Rachel Held Evans points out that truth depends upon the person who is telling the story. Looking at the Biblical story of Jericho she asked, “What took the walls of Jericho down? . . . Was it the shouts of a holy army, the guttural drone of seven shofars, the weight of God in the marching of human feet against a mighty empire’s fortress? Or a ragtag gang of mercenaries, hungry for plunder, who talked a prostitute into betraying her people and unlocking the door? . . . It depends on who tells the story? . . . For every battle a thousand stories could be told, yet we seldom hear more than one of them.”
In Washington, two stories are being told. One is a story of corruption of the highest office. It is a story of a president abusing the power of the presidency to manipulate another country’s safety and security for his own political gain. The other story being told is of a president being persecuted by the opposition, through a secretive impeachment process. Two stories, but which one is true?
As a young woman I had the opportunity to watch the Watergate hearings. As I think back on that time, I remember how one person after another began to tell the truth about the Nixon White House. Little by little, those who heard coalesced around that truth. They were no longer Democrats or Republicans, but seekers of truth. I remember the honesty and integrity that took place during the hearings. Republicans were not there to defend the president, but to defend the constitution.
I don’t see a lot of integrity right now. The country cannot begin to heal until there is integrity in Washington in every branch of government. We will not heal until we can trust those we send there to act with honesty, even when that honesty is not to their liking. In our hyper-partisan era we need public servants who are willing to speak truth, work together for the common good and unite the nation around our ideals instead of our fears.
The scripture says, “Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked ruler over a helpless people. A tyrannical ruler practices extortion, but one who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long reign.” Proverbs 28:15-16