A young friend told me of a funny conversation he had recently with a classmate, that went something like this -
Classmate: You know that new Amish family that moved just down the road from your house?
Austin: What Amish family?
Classmate: You know...they built that white house out in the middle of the hay field a couple of years ago. You pass it on the way to your house.
Austin: Huh? Yeah, I know those folks. They're not Amish!
Classmate: Yes they are. They have a horse in their front yard, and the girls always wear dresses, and they have like a bajillion kids. Of course they're Amish - don't you know anything?!
I enjoyed a good laugh with Austin when he related the conversation to me! Yes, we do have a horse in our front yard - June Bug is a yard horse, sort of like a yard dog but with longer legs. The girls have been known to dress up in long calico skirts and promenade about the yard - but they are much more likely to wear blue jeans or yoga pants. And, it may look like we have a bajillion kids if they are all outside chasing each other in circles around the house - but really, only five kids live here during the week, six on weekends.
Austin's story reminded me of how easy it is to think we truly understand something when we are in fact very badly mistaken. My kids have a favorite saying - If you were deceived, would you know it? Of course you wouldn't! The essence of deception is believing something that isn't true. But what if someone exposed the deception - then would you know that you were deceived? Well, maybe - or maybe not. Austin's classmate couldn't believe how stupid Austin was to be so completely ignorant of the obvious. Never mind that Austin rides 4-wheelers with my kids (no, we are not opposed to motorized vehicles). Never mind that my kids go swimming with Austin and his brother in their pool (yes, I admit we've participated in mixed bathing). Never mind that Austin's family and my husband's family have known each other for longer than I have been alive. When Austin insisted that we are not Amish, his friend snorted in reply, "Shows what you know!"
Romans 1:18-22 reads - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools...
I heard that phrase suppress the truth explained once this way: It speaks of deliberate, concentrated effort, like pushing down on a spring that resists being compressed. It is one thing to be ignorant, but something entirely different to insist on adhering to, to work at perpetuating, a known lie. But, in our fallen state, we all have the hearts of liars, of truth suppressers...what hope is there for us?!
Ah, the beauty of Scripture! God has written down and preserved the truth for us. Maybe some parts of what He has written are uncomfortable, or offensive, or just plain weird - but there it stands anyway. I can take my lying heart to Scripture, and there confront it with the truths of God's Word. Maybe today I'll respond, "Yes! I see and understand!" Or tomorrow, "No! I refuse to believe that!" Or sometimes, "I am so confused." But regardless of my response, Scripture continues to faithfully testify the truth. It doesn't change. And I am compelled to keep coming back, to look and consider, to confront my lies and send them packing. Through the patient work of the Holy Spirit, to be conformed...conformed to the truth.
(Ooops - gotta go. I need to tie on my bonnet and apron and go beat out the rugs....NOT!)
found an old poem from baby felix
3 weeks ago