By Tommy Williams
Truth and Love. (And True Love.)
I work at a garden center. That means one thing: a lot of dirt. The other day, while shoveling some of said dirt, I found myself realizing something: I am dirt. Physically. We’ll all end up there someday. There’s no escaping the fate of our bodies. They are cages, time bombs we are bound to, waiting to inevitably fail us one day. So what do we do with this life we have? How do we avoid the dirt? The truth is: life is messy and dirty, because we are messy and dirty.
But out of the dirt, with a little love, something can bloom that is beautiful, and alive.
There is a void within us, something everyone can relate to. This feeling that something is missing, that there has to be something better out there. People let us down, money lets us down, plans let us down. Some run to religion, treating it as life insurance after death. Are all faiths and philosophies the same? Is truth relative?
The wise man is always found at the top of the insurmountable mountain, sitting cross legged, waiting for someone to finally make it all the way up. No one ever does. There are many ways to try to get up the mountain, all of them leading to eventual destruction. These are the false ways of life we’ve created to try and find happiness without God. Only Jesus Christ comes down from the peak. He meets us where we are: in the valley, in the shadows, in death. The most beautiful thing is that we can continually fail but never be counted lost! Now isn’t that an encouraging thought.
I love that Jesus didn’t simply fly down here and hand us a bunch more rules written on a stone than hop on a cloud back to heaven. The world could have used another carpenter, another doctor, and another teacher. Jesus was all these things. What we NEEDED, however, was a savior. And wow, did we get one! He lived, He got dirty, He built relationships, and He died. He laid himself down first. Now we have the opportunity to lay down our lives to benefit something much greater than ourselves.
I was watching a meteor shower the other night, and I found myself feeling incredibly small. The more dramatic pieces of God’s creation tend to give me that feeling. That used to really scare me. I would lay in bed at night, barely being able to breathe at the thought of being so insignificant. Lately, however, I take comfort in it. Each of our small stories are patched into a much deeper, time-spanning meta-narrative that tells the whole story of humanity. And the story has already been written. We just get to live it. I think that’s incredibly exciting.
Lately I’ve been on this kick about Truth. What is Truth? How do I recognize it? Does it even exist? How about true love? Long story short, after much searching, I think I’ve found Truth. Its’ relational. It’s a person. Truth has shown its face. Truth has smiled, shed tears, and spread its arms to be nailed to a cross. But it wasn’t held down by a few pieces of wood and a some nails. Truth defeated death.
If Christ is the perfect portrait of truth and the perfect example of love, then it makes sense that Jesus is true love. We could all use a little more truth and a little more love. And a lot more true love.
Jesus is always knocking at the door. For the longest time I had the door open, but made Him stay outside on the front porch, at a safe distance. Then I let love in. A relationship with Jesus brings a joyful, peaceful, childlike, creative, organic, redemptive, symphonic vitality to life not normally found in our conformist culture. Escape the drab continuum of this world. Live passionately, and wildly. Invest in someone. For the longest time I was trapped inside myself, living only for me. Real joy comes with others. The benefits of community and loving people far outweigh any pain that comes with it. A very wise person had this thought: “Happiness: only real when shared.”
I hope I’m not sounding preachy. I’m one big failure. I’m broken-hearted. But there’s hope. I read somewhere that God’s message is like a seed, sitting on top of your heart. It’s there your entire life, until that moment when your heart is shattered. At that point in your life when everything seems lost, your heart breaks in two, and seed falls inside. Then something is born, and it grows. Something beautiful.
Tommy is a freshman at The Ohio State University. He’s had three different majors in the first month of college. He likes music, running, and powerful things. Jesus rocks his world.