By BRENDA HOPF
CONNECTING FAITH AND LIFE
A few days ago, my siblings and I were having one of our fun “texting festivals” – sharing serious thoughts, joking and reminiscing about past events. For whatever reason, our brother Paul reminded us all of an incident that took place many years ago involving our maternal grandpa. I barely remembered this story, but our brothers were quite vivid in their description of what went down.
Back in the day, our dad was an avid hunter of hard-shelled snapping turtles. One day as dad returned from a turtle hunting trip and he laid his burlap sack of turtles on the ground, grandpa, who lived next door, walked up to check things out. As the turtles were moving about in the sack, our brothers said grandpa was trying to convince them that the turtles would not bite through the sack because they could not see through the burlap. My brothers did not buy his story, so grandpa pressed on to tease them, reaching toward the sack to see what they would say. Well, the next thing you know … SNAP! Oh, yeah; grandpa got his hand a little too close to the sack, and a turtle that could not see through the sack bit him anyway. Paul says the injury grandpa sustained caused him to lose his fingernail.
While grandpa likely assumed teasing his grandsons with what he thought was a “little” lie would not end the way it did, it is a timely reminder that lies, big or small, can bite us resulting in painful injury, either to the one lying or to those who believe the lie. We need to look no further than our beloved country. A person can’t help but scratch their head and wonder what has brought us to this moment. I have no doubt lies have played a central role in what we have been witnessing in our country for some time now.
Maybe rather than looking at the picture “out there,” you and I should start by looking “in here” – in our own hearts. Have we, whether intentionally or unintentionally, contributed to the lies? Do we just believe the lies or do we want to find the truth; and if so, through what channel do we seek the truth – I mean the real Truth; the Truth that will never change; the Truth that will help us to overcome our sinful ways of contributing to the lies of this world? It is only through each individual person’s commitment to seek out the real Truth, Jesus Christ, that we can begin to have the strength to overcome whatever role we play in the lies of this world. Healing our country begins with each one of us individually. Jesus, the Truth, will be our strength; and He will lead us in the way we should go. We can make a difference through Him.
You know, sometimes we are just like my grandpa; we let our guard down, becoming oblivious or apathetic amidst the lie for just a second, and … SNAP! The lie has bitten us. It is obvious our country is swimming in a sea of lies. We’ve all been bitten and we, as a country, have lost more than a fingernail. I believe in my heart that the lies can eventually be revealed and order once again restored in our country. This can only happen through you and me and our commitment to the Truth, now and in the future as we move forward.
Each one of us has a choice. We can contribute to the lies, allowing them to happen through our apathy or our oblivious state of being; or we can commit to the Truth. I pray that we choose the latter. May Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, bless us all in our efforts.
Brenda Hopf is a member of Divine Mercy Parish in Dubois County and also contributes to the “Sharing the Load” column in The Message.