Posted by: Dan | February 10, 2006

Anger and Truth

Everett's warnings especially confused me, because I knew he wouldn't lie, but he was so full of anger and hate this his truths just didn't feel true.
~ Irwin, in The Brothers K by David James Duncan

So the question becomes one of truth-telling — or, more accurately, the possibility for a truth told to be received and accepted by any given audience. Must truths be free of anger in order for them to “feel true”? Surely there is a place for anger in truth-telling; after all, anger is often but a manifestation of broken-heartedness. And how can some truths not break our hearts? How can I speak of my people — and what is done to them — without sorrow, and anger, and hope, and delight all intermingled? Must truths told in such a way be rejected because of how they feel? And if they are rejected what hope do we have? For this is the only way that truth can be told truthfully.

I think that this might be why the prophets — those miserable tellers of truth — often have the paradoxical commission of summoning the people to return to the ways of YHWH and of hardening the hearts of the people (even though the prophet will also be broken in that process).

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