What counts as truth?

I have been pondering this question for the last few days. I remember a situation that happened in my last year of school. For years I held a particular version of that story until it dawned on me on everyone involved was in the midst of grieving. The facts as far as I understood them remained the same, but the flavour of the story changed.

Even the ‘facts’ as I think they occurred may have been a little different. There quite probably were things that happened that influenced the outcome that I will never know about. It is twenty years later now and I’m not sure anyone could unravel what really happened.

So where does the ‘truth’ lie?

In one sense, it doesn’t matter, I have made my peace with this particular set of circumstances. But I am grappling with something else from my past at the moment and this question is pertinent.

Events which are strongly emotionally charged are always difficult to get a handle on. And I am not sure that the best way to discharge the emotion is to try and get to the ‘objective truth’. I’m not sure at all that there is an ‘objective truth’ at all.

Rather perhaps to look at myth that I have created. Myth here meaning not simply something ‘made up’ but something which may not be literally true, but which holds symbolic meaning. I need to sit with the myth and explore it. To examine my emotional responses and to explore the possible intentions of those who were involved.

Sometimes the myth may shift a little in the exploration. As in my earlier example, the discovery of the importance of grief in the process changed the way I viewed the whole thing.

On my current exploration I am not sure where the journey will end, or what will be revealed along the way. For now I will simply let it be. I will pay attention and allow for the possibility for a shift.

In all I pray for grace, and trust that God has the truth in hand. And just as my understanding of God is limited and partial, so too my understanding of this particular situation will remain limited and partial. But even my limited and partial understanding of God has brought me a long way, so too I trust that my limited and partial understanding will be sufficient.

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