And The Truth Shall Set You Free

And the truth shall set you free.

I’ve said this all my life long with great satisfaction and with very little evidence. I’ve thought that the truth could set us free to choose something and oppose something else. We can choose good in all its forms, or evil in the multiplicity of its seductions, and the temptations of compromising evil spirits. It is a lifetime’s work which will continue throughout eternity. We will not be good in a flash. I remember attending the funeral of a prominent member of another denomination. It was said in the eulogy that what he was most looking forward to was sharing in Christ’s glory. And I thought, ‘No, no, it doesn’t work like that.’ And I was happy that we had doctrines to protect us against such distortions of the truth.

What I had not anticipated was the unwelcome intrusion of pain, and its entitled claims on my life. After all, we are born, not for ourselves, but for others, and here was my pain , insisting on its claims to my time and attention. It was alarming, to say the least.

Let me explain. Two years ago I had a foot reconstruction. Doesn’t sound like much, but it involved four operations in one – one to insert a stainless steel plate with eight screws, one to fashion a bone bridge on the top of the foot, and one to cut chips of ankle bone away to insert in the bridge to keep the foot steady. The fourth one merely cut and extended a tendon. This all took two and a half hours to make me a new woman. I woke with a woozy hoorah that it was all over and stepping it out would be my new normal. Wrong! The surgeon performed a very good operation, but he was no match for the arthritis and gout that attacked the damaged bones. He admitted to me afterwards, ‘I can do the operation, but I cannot control the healing’. He is a lovely man and most times he wins through. But this time he didn’t. I confess that I entered the ‘poor little me’ zone and succumbed to that most unpleasant zone of being – self pity. 

Now here is where the Truth comes in. I consulted a pain relief specialist who told me that this was my lot in life. Things would not improve, but I could learn to manage the pain. I felt oddly exhilarated to hear the truth. The Lord did not expect me to be a holy martyr, I could take pain pills with a clear conscience. My clever doctor prescribed a state-of-the- art pill that has a built in protection for the kidneys and liver, and I am a new woman. The truth has set me free from false hope, yearning and resentment. In combination with an appropriate diet, I can do almost as much as I could before, and am mercifully old enough to have outlived the grievances I was cultivating. The truth has set me free. Hallelujah!

About Verna Brown

Verna Brown was born in the north of Scotland in 1942 and followed the sun with her parents and grandmother to Durban, South Africa in 1948. She joined the New Church at 20, and was married to Kenneth Brown in 1964 in the Musgrave Road Church. They have 4 married children and 8 grandchildren. Verna has a DLitt et Phil degree, as well as a further degree in education. She has taught and lectured, and loves her lively Sunday School class at Buccleuch in Gauteng (Transvaal) as well as the classes she offers in her own home for U3A (the University of the Third Age: i.e. retirees). She looks forward to contributing to New Christian Woman as a mature (?) member. Greetings to you all.

2 thoughts on “And The Truth Shall Set You Free

  1. Hmmm. Thank you for this perspective, Verna. I’m sorry that the surgery didn’t make things all better! -That must’ve been very frustrating, I have no doubt that I’d have been having a pity party too, were I in your shoes. (Ha, pun not intended!) “The truth has set me free from false hope, yearning and resentment” — I hadn’t thought of truth setting us free in that way, and it makes so much sense. That’s wonderful that it has indeed freed you, to the extent that you’re almost the new woman you’d hoped to be – albeit through a slightly different path, but you’re there nevertheless. I wish you much joy and continued contentment as you go forward! 🙂

  2. Love this idea. Seems like there is huge freedom in seeing and acting on what is actually true, not what we wish was true. 🙂

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