Friday, October 26, 2007

Emily Dickinson 1830-1886


Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise

As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

2 comments:

Fr. J. Sollberger said...

Please write more in this regard. I'm intrigued, but not quite keen on how you'd transalte this into confession and teaching the faith.

Fr. Jon M. Ellingworth said...

I enigmatically hinted at my understanding and application of this poem in my blog header. I am understanding the Truth to be Jesus (Truth Incarnate). As no one can gaze into the face and glory of God and live, so God has "eased" our dilemma "with explanation kind" and "dazzled us gradually" through approachable, touchable means, flesh and blood - Lest Every Man Be Blind.

I never intended this to be an exercise in pragmatism. The quest is for the Truth and the journey, the pilgrimage, should be one of wonder, reverential veneration, and mystery.

Consider the long, sinuous, and unexpected twists and turns of the story of salvation recorded from Genesis to Revelation. Why didn't God just tell us the Truth straight out? Why the often less than admirable history of the Patriarchs and whoring Israel? Why the parables, etc.? Because God's ways are not our ways, and in His wisdom, this is best for us and to His glory.