when in the course of a week i hear about something once, unless it is spectacular, it rarely gets a second thought. having it mentioned twice gives it more credence. but coming upon the same previously unknown poem three times in the course of five days, all from different sources is definitely cause to start really paying attention.

it started with phil aud mentioning the poem while talking about his new eugene peterson book, tell it slant, while we were in indiana. on friday i ran across the same poem in a magazine. then, last night, i was looking at some online writing courses from seattle pacific university, and, there it was...the same poem in the margin of the page.

this is the poem, by emily dickinson:
Tell all the Truth but tell it slant -
Success in Curcuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
the Truth's superb suprise
As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind -

i have never been one of those people who has a natural patience with people. if i understand something, then i expect that those around me should also have the same basic understanding. but i am coming to realize, and this poem is another step in this journey, that my patience level for those around me needs to grow exponentially if i am to be even the tiniest reflection of my God.

so, i am learning to tell it slant...to not jump right in and hit people hard with truth, but rather, ease others into truth, as Jesus did, using stories and infinite patience.


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