A man once asked me, “What is truth?”
He was tired and jaded, the cares of his lifetime etched upon his face, his eyes bleak. The fact was that he was facing an impossible matter, one which had no fair answer by all human standards. The last thing he needed was another mistake on his record – he was in deep enough as it was – and he was desperate for an answer. So desperate as to turn to me, searching, and ask his burning question.
I didn’t answer him.
But that man is not the only one who has asked me this question. He was not the first and he certainly is not the last. It is the single most important question of all eternity. The answer holds the balance of the universe within its grasp.
“What is truth?”
Truth is unchanging; truth transcends even things that this world sees as fact. It permeates every cell of every body of every living creature – sentient or not. Truth is in the breath of the wind and the ringing of silence; it is what makes water wet and light warm. Truth is that which holds up the wings of birds in the skies, and what allows you to read and comprehend these words. Truth is eternal, truth lasts from before the very beginning and will endure long after the very end of all things. Above all else, truth is love.
The greatest truth of all is that you are loved.
There are lots and lots of facts, and maybe if you’re like me the fact is that nobody in this world understands you. The fact is that you sometimes feel excluded and rejected, like you’re outcast and alone in the world. Maybe the fact is that you do not have any friends – or maybe the fact is that you feel as though you do not have any when in fact you do… Maybe the fact is that you have secrets and fears and there are people who judge you or hate you. Maybe the fact is that you’re fighting a battle that no one knows about. Maybe the fact is that you feel like a bad person. You don’t even have to do anything, but the fact is that you feel guilt and shame somewhere deep in your bones, and no matter how many tears you cry there is no relieving that weight from your heart. Maybe the world tells you over and over and over again that you are, in fact, utterly unloved because you are utterly unloveable.
None of those things are the truth.
This is what I mean when I say that truth transcends facts because facts are things which you can see, or touch. Facts are tangible evidence; they’re observable, as the scientists would say. But facts are not always truth. Facts are sometimes dependent on perspective, aren’t they?
Take for example: there were once two men who found a symbol that had been written on the ground. One man says, “The symbol is the number six,” but his fellow looks and replies, “No, the symbol is the number nine.” Both of these things are fact, for one has approached the symbol from the South and the other from the North. Although each man speaks a fact, the truth is that the symbol is there between them in the sand.
So now let’s return to your list of facts.
Perhaps these things are facts for you. Perhaps you pause and take an inventory of your life and you see these hurts and experiences that prove these facts to you. I tell you again, none of those things are the truth; and again, I will tell you what the truth is.
You are so loved, more than you could ever know or understand.
The truth about this love is that there is absolutely nothing that could ever be done – to you or by you – that could ever dull the shine of it. There is no place that you could go, no words that you could speak, and no action that you could perform that could possibly separate you from the truth of this love. As I said before, because this love is truth it transcends those things that the world says are facts and it permeates everything. The very stuff that holds your atoms and molecules together testifies to this love. Your DNA is encoded with this love and it is carved into the etchings of your fingerprints and in every strand of your hair.
The truth is that you are loved –
Just like there is nothing that you can do to dull the shine of this love, there is likewise nothing that you need to do to earn this love. You cannot earn it. You cannot be worthy of it. It exists more deeply than that. Truth does not expire, and neither does this love.
You don’t even have to love me back.
That’s right, it is I who love you. That’s how I know that it is truth. That’s how I know that you cannot stop this love.
“But I don’t even know you,” you’re saying.
It doesn’t matter.
I still love you.
I love you more than the finest dressed flowers of the fields that stretch across the earth, and more than the distance between the furthest stars across all of the galaxies. I loved you before you were born, when you were no more than a single cell in your mother’s womb, before any light had yet shone on your face, when you were clothed in the darkness and your spirit was not yet breathed into your form. I loved you before your mother was born. Before your grandmother was born, before your greatest of great grandmothers was born. I loved you before the sun rose over the horizon for the very first time, and before there even was a light that governed the day and night. I loved you before there was matter or energy or anything else except for me.
I think you know who I Am by now.
You might be upset, having come this far in my letter to find yourself here, but I tell you that although you may know of me, I do not think that you know me… not properly. You see, in this world the fact is that there are a lot of people who say that they know me, and in my name they do terrible things - horrible, unthinkable things that are laced with hatred and judgment, which makes the world believe that they know enough facts about me to make up their minds about who I am.
The fact is that there is a lot of bad in the world, a lot of sickness and suffering, a lot of dying – especially today in these hard times that you have been born into. The fact is that there are people who lie and cheat and steal and kill and judge and hate and they do it in my name, and I am represented by people shouting about fire and brimstone, holding hand painted signs and snarling like packs of ferociously hungry monsters. They point their fingers and scream their accusations and insults and never once pause to look into the mirror to see the blaze of ugly hatred in their eyes.
But the truth transcends the facts, remember?
The truth is that those people do not represent me. I don’t know them. They’ve taken up my words and weaponized them, made them like bullets that rip through the flesh of the young and innocent and tear apart the spirit of the ones I love. My heart breaks for the victims of their unholy rage.
There are also many people who are misguided, who have been misled, or who believe that the harsh, cruel things they say or do are necessary to save others, like tough love. This is not to say that the things they do are right, but that they do them out of a place of love for you – a desperation to see you safe and loved. They do not understand that theirs is not the position of judge. That is only for me to do, for I alone know the true intentions behind every person’s actions and words. Only I can judge fairly and accurately. The fact is that they are wrong, and they do not understand the principle of the grace that I have extended to all, or what they have been given mercy from themselves.
The fact is that no one has earned my love.
The fact is that no one could ever earn my love.
Until you come to a point in your life when you acknowledge the emptiness, the bankruptcy within yourself, you’ll never fully understand how great, how deep, how wide, how eternal my love for you is. That is the first step – realizing that you cannot identify yourself, that you cannot make the hard things go away, or that the mountain seems to be ever shrinking in the distance, even as you strive to reach the peak. When you come to that place, when you think that you are the most alone, it is there that I am with you so near, holding your hand, and gently guiding you along, gathering you to me for safe keeping.
The truth is that I long to gather every person to me, to shelter them under my wings like a mother bird does to her chicks, to protect them. I long to whisper words of love into the ear of every person who would hear the true words that I speak.
The truth is that I would do anything to be with you forever.
The truth is that I would die for you.
Well. The truth is that I already have.
The truth is that I love you that much – I love you as far as my arms will stretch apart… and further even than that.
The truth is nothing is the way I wanted it to be – not yet. The world is still young and there is evil still here to defeat, the battle is still raging as you read this. The fact is that the world is currently occupied by the evil one, which is why those facts just keep adding up and adding up and those people don’t know who I am because they look to the ruler of the earth to gain their insights, but I am not he. I am the King in exile, the King who has yet to return to my throne, which has been taken up by an imposter’s version of me.
The truth is that death and suffering is his doing – that false prince whose call the world has answered. He does in fact rule over the earth now – but the truth is that I am on my way to end his power and take back what is mine and to establish my love over all the earth. I’m on my way to destroy death and to set up a kingdom of peace, where the truth is known and the facts are revealed to be no more than lies. I am on my way to make good on my promises.
Soon, I’ll be back. I’ll come and I’ll rescue you from this place where you feel so much pain. I will come and you will be swept up with me and in me you’ll find the peace that your soul is screaming for, for which you’ve been searching all of your life.
If you’ll let me, I’ll prove it to you. Just speak the words and I’ll prove to you who I Am. If you search for me, you’ll find me… I’m never far away from you because I’m always there – right inside of your heart.
So again, I say, whatever your facts are, the truth is that I love you, and there is nothing that could ever make me stop loving you. Even if you do not love me back. Oh but I do so wish that you would love me back… for I have so much more to give to you than you could ever imagine.
I love you forever.