Author Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v.6 ‘you desire truth’
As a preacher, I have learned the intentional practice of ‘veiled’ speaking—expressing my opinion or answering a difficult question in the least offensive or divisive way possible. Sharing what I believe to be true about our rich and radical gospel, while measuring it out with enough kindness, compassion, and context to seep through people’s defensiveness.
When you work with an ecumenical community with diverse backgrounds, traditions, and opinions, you learn how to speak (and write and preach) strategically. Such communicating can be a gift in our polarizing world, where we are quick to retort, exclude, and assume. There is a time and place for such strategic speaking—a time to make room in the conversation for, yes, even our enemy.
And yet, there are times, I must confess, that I have used my precious veils to hide and shield myself from conflict. There were times when I tried to cushion and soften hard truths, not for the sake of compassion or unity, but for my own comfort and fear of rebuke. Times when I have tiptoed into the deep truths of our scriptures with such trepidatious obliqueness that instead of hearing what they needed to, people heard what they wanted to, and I let them. This year has had many lessons for us people of God and I think one of them has been that the truth matters. So, let me speak clearly and without trepidation. The explosion of violence and hatred we witnessed on January 6th at our nation’s Capitol was the product of weeks, years, and even generations of bombastic lies and misinformation shared among the disgruntled, the vengeful, and the misled alike. Speaking the truth, sharing the truth, acknowledging the truth matters, and is as important as ever. I pray God gives us the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to hear it, speak it, and write it on our hearts, especially when we resist its difficulty.
Prayer God of all that is true, guide us in your wisdom.