How much energy do we spend dancing around the truth? How many times do we gather with family or friends and cast our eyes downward so we can ignore the elephant in the room? How many shackles would fall away if just one person stood up and said what everyone else was thinking but was afraid to whisper aloud?
As family gathers around the table for Thanksgiving, we all have those subjects no one will touch. And often they are the very ones that need to be laid bare, talked about and shared. They are what keep hearts apart even while bodies sit closer than any other time of year.
Now I’m no advocate of random outbursts intended to shock and raise a ruckus but I am a firm believer in speaking truth in love.
In fact, next to carrying this burden of missing, it is the hardest thing I do.
And I am often unsuccessful.
I screw up my courage, practice my speech, lay out the strategy and then crumble, last minute, under dozens of potentially awful outcomes.
What if they get mad? What if they think I’m crazy, or selfish, or wrong?
Or I DO share and it falls flat because the words I thought would communicate love are misunderstood or misdirected or misapplied.
So instead of helping, I hurt.
But the alternative is this: we all remain imprisoned behind a wall where freedom is clearly visible on the other side. We can smell it, almost taste it but not quite touch it.
And that is not how I want to live.
I want to claim the freedom that truth offers.
So this Thanksgiving I will try again: truth in love.
Lots and lots of love with truth sprinkled in. Maybe the sugar in the pie will help.
I’ll never know if I don’t give it a shot.