On Lies

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” — John 8:32

Lies are a cruel and fragile prison. Construction starts perhaps innocently enough with just a “white lie”… a single strand of spider’s silk that falls gently and imperceptibly across the face of the deceived; a bond so fragile that it requires the protection of countless other lies to sustain its existence. As lie piles upon lie, the victim is slowly buried in a cocoon of half-truths and deceptions.

Finding the truth more painful to accept than the lie, the prisoner often becomes his own jailer. He remains, almost willingly, trapped in his delusion, gazing at reality through hazy and distorted windows of untruth.

But his is a prison far more fragile than gossamer. The staunchest bastion of lies cannot withstand a single splinter of truth; the smallest truth quickly melts away deception like morning frost in noonday sunshine. The prisoner, now free of his prison and seeing unfiltered reality for the first time, perhaps in years, often longs for the comfortable walls that once held him captive. But such walls can never be rebuilt. Indeed, they were imaginary in the first place. He is free, but desires not to be. He is better for knowing the truth, yet feels more imprisoned by his newfound liberty than he ever felt in his chains. The cruelest jail is the one for which you long after you have been set free.

— Joseph H. Wurler, III