In the book “The Gift of Therapy” by Irvin Yalom, he tells the story of a young lady heading off to college.
She had a very tense relationship with her father, and he was the one driving her four hours away to campus. She was excited at the thought of this time alone with her father, with hopes they could have some healing conversation along the way.
But her hopes were quickly dashed because soon after the trip started, he began to make comments about all of the trash in the stream that ran along the highway.
The young lady took the comments personally and as a confirmation of the kind of man he is, since she didn’t see one piece of trash in the stream. In fact, she thought the view was beautiful. Immediately, she shut down and the rest of the trip was a cold silence between the two.
It wasn’t until years later when she made the trip alone that she realized that on the driver’s side of the highway there was another stream, which was indeed full of trash. The stream her father had seen out of his window was indeed more of an eyesore than the beautiful scenic view she had experienced so long ago. She had just realized that the problem was not her father.
The problem was that she was stuck between two truths. The truth of his view and the truth of her own.
What happens when we are stuck between two truths? The truth of our own view, and someone else’s? The truth of our story, and the truth of what our story should be? The truth of the Word of God, and our own human-ness? We can even get stuck between two seemingly contradictory truths that we find in Scripture.
Often times we get stuck on one side of truth, and we over look other important truths. Sometimes the other truth feels contradictory to our truth, but it may be true none-the less.
As humans we tend to see things in black and white, either or, but what about both and? Is there a place for that? Is it healthy for us to consider both and? It is my experience that many people, including Christians are almost afraid of opening up their minds to both and. It is also important to be open to the idea that both and can be an extreme itself. How do we find balance?
This is something worth considering when it comes to our relationships, our worldview, politics, religion, and just in everyday life.
I will be speaking a two-part series about what to do when you are wrestling through the tension of being stuck between two truths.
August 25 will have a focus more on two truths in human terms. September 1 the topic will be on the tension of the truth of the God we want, and the God who is. Our service begins at 10:00 EST.