The Burning Fire Of Truth
There are various kinds of lies—and a gentle light is not enough to reveal Truth, writes Nthabiseng Maphisa.
In the blackness of the night, amidst the whispers and the chill in the air, Truth walked through the streets of humanity holding a lantern in his hand.
As he made his way through the alleys, passing rats and littered corners, there were faces gaunt and gruesome, and voices heavy and husky.
At him eyes would stare, glare and roll but when he dared to draw closer to the people looking at him, they could see the roughness of their hands, the grimness of their faces and the ugliness within their hearts.
Truth had unveiled what Deception had tried to hide.
Many of us know what it feels like to lie and to be lied to.
I believe lying has various levels, categorised by the impact on those who unknowingly receive the lie.
There is the candy-coated lie. This is the one you learn as a child to not cause offence to your fellow classmate whose drawing of a lion requires a clear explanation followed by a labelled diagram.
It is a sweet, endearing lie that gives comfort.
There is the heavily seasoned peri-peri lie. This requires creativity, planning and mastery of holding a straight face when it is time for delivery.
It is the story you give to your mother about the completion of household chores. It is the fanciful tale you give to your annoying relative as to your absence at their annoying event. It is the speech given to your teacher justifying the need for an extra day to hand in your assignment. It is saucy and spicy.
There is the vinegar lie. This requires coldness of heart, selfishness and a great love for pretence.
It is the utterance of an unfaithful spouse, a white-collar criminal or a wayward cleric. It is a forest of lies where each seed has been carefully planted. Many find themselves lost in the oaks, willows and pines.
And, worst of all, there is the poisoned chalice lie. It is the most lying of lies and the most deceptive of deceptions.
It is held not by one but many people with the intent of dehumanising a people in the name of profit and progress.
It is the knots woven by dictators, eugenicists and slave owners. It is intended to tie the mind, twist it and hold it forever.
Here the light from the lantern of Truth is dimmed, replaced or destroyed. It is truth distorted, truth made foggy and truth indistinguishable.
I have had a first-hand experience of some of these lies and from others I am only just beginning to feel the effects.
Truth has seen the woundedness of these sugar-coated, spiced up and vinegar-laden lies. It recognises that a gentle light has not been enough—he sets free the flame from his lantern and sets the world on fire.
All around the darkness there are flames illuminating hidden corners where dubious deeds had been done. With a thirst unquenched, Truth goes on ferociously. For some it is a light of hope and justice, and for others it is a moment of reckoning.
And now Truth walks through the streets of humanity followed by a crowd. They carry small lanterns lit with his own light.
He leads them to the place where he received this undying fire. In the blackness of the night there is a light that now glows.
It is truth revealed, truth remembered and truth indestructible.