“Look at that gorgeous yellow bird!” The exclamation flew out of my mouth as I considered how to get a picture without scaring the flighty thing. Camera zooming from the couch did not capture its details, but I could tell the bird was exquisite. Petite, a brilliant yellow, it sat basking in the sun. Hurrying over to another window—stealthily, mind you—I snapped a few more pictures, then perused the images while carefully returning to the couch.
My mind rolled back to sixty-five years previous when fear came calling one dark night. No matter I was safely ensconced in bed, in a secure home, parents asleep in a nearby room. I was petrified. Just outside the bedroom window sounded the distinct footsteps of someone walking back and forth. Was it that scary looking person recently seen in our neighborhood? No way would I peek out, only to meet eyes staring in at me! It took awhile for my heart rate to settle down and to finally fall asleep, after the truth of the mysterious footsteps was finally revealed.
Illusions. Those influences that wildly chase our imagination, capture it, and lead us down a plethora of rabbit trails. Some paths present as delightful, like exquisite yellow birds. Others are frightful, like an imposing stranger danger. Only when the truth is known can one measure the value, and reality, of the experience. There must be a plumb line for reference, an anchor on which to base our understanding and choices.
Even now as I sit gazing out the window my mind is convinced what I am seeing is a splendid yellow bird. The shape, color, and size are right. Surely my eyes could not be mistaken. Yet on closer examination that glorious bird is in truth dead clematis leaves, caught in the arbor grillwork. Dead, neither alive nor real, but an illusionary lie. Just as was that stranger danger outside my window so long ago… merely air from the floor vent flapping a loose bedsheet against the mattress. Without a foundation of unchanging truth our thinking may fall into error, eventually bringing emptiness rather than true beauty, and imagined or unnecessary fears.
Truth is on the firing line, the world system convulsing to define, sub-define, redefine truth. Illusions and delusions have long been tactics to skew the truth, influence our ways of thinking and viewing our world. My hope is that we seek truth’s wisdom to examine all the supposedly marvelous things that fly into our lives, as well as to overcome our confusions and fears.
John 8:32 NKJV “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”