Sunday, March 23, 2014

Truth

Ben Harper is a great singer songwriter and "Diamonds on the Inside" is one of his best.
Diamonds on the Inside
(Listen to this song here
I knew a girl, her name was Truth
She was a horrible liar
She couldn't spend one day alone
But she couldn't be satisfied 
When you have everything
You have everything to lose
She made herself a bed of nails
And she's planning on putting it to use 
But she had diamonds on the inside
She had diamonds on the inside
She had diamonds on the inside
Diamonds 
A candle throws its light into the darkness
In a nasty world so shines a good deed
Make sure the fortune that you seek
Is the fortune that you need 
So tell me why the first to ask
Is the last to give every time
What you say and do not mean
Follows you close behind 
She had diamonds on the inside
She had diamonds on the inside
She wore diamonds on the inside
Diamonds
Diamonds 
Like the soldier long standing under fire
Any change comes as a relief
Let the giver's name remain unspoken
Well she is just a generous thief 
But she had diamonds on the inside
She had diamonds on the inside
She wore diamonds on the inside
She wore diamonds 
(Diamonds)
Oh diamonds
She had diamonds
(Wore)
She wore diamonds
(Diamonds)
Diamonds 
Ben Harper; © EMI Music Publishing

This song represents a personification of the concept of "Truth." Ben Harper is writing in an ancient tradition of taking an idea like truth and writing of it as if it were a woman. The great king Solomon did something similar in Proverbs 8 where he personified "Wisdom." Harper ascribes many things to truth.

Lies are obvious; truth is a horrible liar.
Truth only exists in relationship with others.
Truth is never satisfied; Truth is never complete.
Truth is everything; when you have it you have everything; when you have truth you have everything to lose.
Truth requires severe discipline.
Truth is beauty on the inside.
Truth is light in a dark world.
Truth is true fortune.
Truth is the first thing for which we ask but find that it is the last thing given.
The untruths we speak follow us closely.
Anything that feels like truth is quickly embraced; for, after all of the darkness, it feels like a glimmer of light.
Truth can be a generous thief: stealing from one and giving to another.

Wisdom and truth are closely linked. Consider the following verses from Proverbs 8:1, 32-36.
Listen as Wisdom calls out!
    Hear as understanding raises her voice! . . .
“And so, my children,  listen to me,
    for all who follow my ways are joyful.
Listen to my instruction and be wise.
    Don’t ignore it.
Joyful are those who listen to me,
    watching for me daily at my gates,
    waiting for me outside my home!
For whoever finds me finds life
    and receives favor from the Lord.
But those who miss me injure themselves.
    All who hate me love death.”

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