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The Day Truth Blew The Lies All To Hell





It was a beautiful spring day in Illinois. The birds were chirping, my daffodils had bloomed, and everything seemed new, green, and growing.

My husband, Scott, and I took advantage of the weather on a whim and took our kids to the St. Louis Zoo. To most, this isn’t a big decision. However, our ‘church’* expected us to be present. We knew our absence would be noted. Their tsk-tsking assumptions would try and convict us without ever discussing it with us.

There would be a price to pay.

But some decisions are worth the price. Some decisions shake loose an invisible, evil hold and open our eyes. Some decisions change the course of a life. Forever.

As we ate lunch in the picnic area, I studied the other families. I didn't feel any of the things we had been warned about. I didn't feel different or threatened or defiled. I didn’t see evil lurking in their words and actions.

I saw a father patiently deal with his daughter's melting ice cream, laughing the whole time. I saw siblings scrambling for the best spot on the picnic bench. I saw families and people soaking up the sunshine.

Looking around, all I felt was hope.

“I’m so sick and tired of it all,” I spit hot words, my husband in the line of fire. He looked at me, unsurprised by my intensity, like he heard my thoughts before I spoke. “How do we know that guy isn’t one of God’s chosen?” I waved my arms for emphasis. “Maybe we all are. Aren’t we all made in his image?”

“Of course we are,” Scott said. “Everything they're telling us is crap. It’s all crap.”

“Then why are we staying?”

“I don’t know,” he replied flatly.

“Me, neither.”

I took a deep breath, blew away my frustration, and determined to enjoy the day.


When our 2-year-old son belly-laughed at a baby gorilla, I laughed too. When our 6-year-old daughter made a joke about the elephant’s digestion for the third time, I pretended disgust, then laughed with her. We found beautiful reprieve in the averageness of our family day.

On the drive home, the memories of the happy, ordinary families flooded back, and I turned to my husband and said, “We have to get out of there.”

Scott knew exactly what I was talking about and said, “I was just thinking the same thing.”

I’ll never forget that spot on Interstate 44 where our lives changed. Even today, every time I visit, it stirs sadness and excitement when I drive past. Sadness at the loss of time and innocence, and belief. Excitement at the prospect of building our life into something beautiful.

Once home, Scott called the guy in charge to say we wouldn’t be back.

Ever.

The only response was a gruff “Ok.” and a click as he hung up the phone.

As we stood there, staring at each other, grasping what we had just done, waiting for the sky to cave in, the setting sun seeped in. The room was suddenly awash in every shade of purple and pink imaginable. Bathed in this mystical, morphing color, everything somehow felt brighter, lighter.

I suddenly had tears in my eyes, sensing a Presence there with us.

I could hear the sound of chains falling off and the cell door being pried open.


Fresh air blasted through my soul as Truth walked into the room. Then he blew the lies all to hell, and gathered up the pieces of our broken hearts and began to build something beautiful and holy.


When we realized that leaving was only the beginning of getting free, Truth cut a path.

When the pain of healing felt more like dying, Truth revived our hearts.

When new ways of living felt unstable and shaky, Truth stripped us to our foundation.

When the investment cost us everything, Truth gave glimpses of the payoff.

That is what Truth does. That’s Who Truth is.


Truth has never left us, and Truth will never leave you.

The same Truth that set you free will also refuse to let you go.





*Please understand I use this word because of its meaning in our society. This wasn’t the church Jesus talks about. It wasn’t the church as it should be. It was a name to shield this organization's existence and nothing more.

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Hello! I'm glad you're here.

I hope my words saturate your life with God’s goodness.

I pray they express the new joy I’ve found in my friend, Jesus and the trustworthy companionship of the Holy spirit.

 

He really is better than we can hope, dream, imagine, or pray. 

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