Yesterday, in the glow of Adirondack spring, I drove through windy mountain roads to a tiny cemetery tucked behind two imposing structures. But there were uniformed firefighters gathered and a huge American flag draped from the ladder truck. And in truth, it was not only the windy road that brought us together, but the strange quirks and turns of all our lives. But we stood, such as we were, one group, flaws and foibles, nevertheless together. There is a strength and a continuity in that that defies the lesser things we are made of, that transcends the brokenness and cruelties and reminds us of something more, that we are something more.

Our pathways are never easy. Everyday we confront choice and challenge, and there are remarkable losses and incredible gains. But the truth is that something deeper than that really matters: love and truth. Shifting towards Ascension Thursday, the readings describe the fervor and joy of miracles and then the Spirit of Truth. The very words give pause. Truth is a building block in any relationship. The gift of truth is the grief of admitting wrong, the clarity of seeing the right, the courage to discern the difference and abide in that space where all pathways lead to Truth. The promise made is not capricious: there is an intensity, a strength. “…You know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you.”

There is a tender grace in all that, an acknowledgment of both flaws and foibles, and an acceptance of the limits of the human condition tempered with the possibilities of great things to come. For us, it is left to navigating each step each day. But we are not alone; these words are the promise that there is more than we suspect in life and maybe more than we are capable of imagining. Our lives are full of twists and turns, but at the core of it all is the truth that there is more than what we know, what we imagine. Choosing to accept and to believe means embracing the Truth. That is never easy: it demands stepping away from illusions, perceptions and deceptions. It means believing in something far greater than self. It is the about the courage to live your truth, to be faithful to the calling that you hear. And that requires a lot of listening….to self, to others, to the world we live in.

An old friend, philosophizing about Life’s intricacies, noted that the building blocks of a relationship as being truth and honesty, then respect, and finally love. It sounded simple, sincere, and it made me think about the critical nature of truths, what we wish to impart to another, what to believe of what is imparted to us. Either way, the power of truth in our lives is undeniable and sometimes so very elusive. The chance to live it is there, though, ours for the taking and truthfully, it is worth climbing the mountain to discover the view.

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