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Spring has never been my favorite season.
For one, it means no football, save the NFL Combine and Draft. (To be fair, watching a 6-foot-6-inch, 341-pound man run 40 yards in significantly less time than it took you to read this sentence, is incredible.) Secondly, growing up in Arizona, I knew spring meant saying goodbye to the days where stepping outside could be a sweat-free endeavor.
This spring, however, I’m thinking about the season as a blooming period for the complexities of truth. That’s not to say that truth itself is complicated, but that the application, acknowledgment, or apprehension of truth can be a sticky mess. Truth will set you free, but then we get to wrestle with freedom and the responsibility that comes with it: Realizing that racism is ingrained in the church is important, for instance, but acting to rid the church of that sin is paramount.
“The question is not a matter of if truth will come, but when. The most important question of our lives then becomes, how are we to greet it?” writes Zachary Lee, in the April issue of Sojourners, as he writes about the Gwendolyn Brooks poem “truth.”
Sometimes, we try to hurry truth along, seeking it with diligence for a higher purpose. JR. Forasteros, in his review of The Batman writes how Batman’s search for truth is both a search for answers to the past and the future. The world’s greatest detective is not just piecing together a puzzle to stop a villain, he’s trying to find a path toward truth and justice becoming norms, rather than aberrations. Truth is his pursuit but vengeance is the path — a path he exhausts. As Forasteros writes: “Vengeance is a dead-end journey. It’s inherently childish. What actuarial table can tell Batman how many criminals he has to punch to finally kill his grief?”
Spring is a season of revelations. The tree was always alive, but the flowers testify to that truth. The plant was always growing, but the sapling testifies to its presence. We can make spring a season for embracing truth, even as those revelations come through growing pains.
1. ‘The Batman’ in One Hand, the Book of Judges in the Other by JR. Forasteros
This is a tale of two orphans, Bruce and Jephthah. A tale of two cities, Gotham and Gilead.
2. The Truth Will Set You Free. Are We Ready for That? by Zachary Lee
The Green Knight puts a magnifying glass to our natural responses to truth, while The Power of the Dog articulates our tendencies to flee from the truths that will expose us.
3. My Family’s Lenten Practices Prepared Us for Green Burial by Mallory McDuff
In Lent, we consider our own mortality — and what our own deaths and burials mean amid a global climate crisis.
4. ‘The Worst Person in the World,’ Despite Its Title, Never Judges by Abby Olcese
Joachim Trier’s film explores the subtle changes of the soul and the experiences that define us all.
5. Vignettes of Joy Amid Brokenness by Olivia Bardo
Ocean Vuong's Time Is a Mother reaches for the depths of what was lost.
6. What Can Horror Teach Us About the Bible? by Brandon Grafius
Sometimes God is lurking by the riverbank at night, waiting to fight us.
7. Saying Goodbye to Spotify by Bill McKibben
Sometimes you just have to stand up for reality.
8. We Asked Kids to Review Banned Books by Josiah R. Daniels
Kids ages 5 to 17 told Sojourners what banned books taught them about loving God and their neighbors.
9. Glennon Doyle Was a Lifeline—Just Not the One I Expected by Faith-Marie Zamblé
A few weeks of rest (and screaming into the void) put me back in touch with my creative spark.
10. 10 Lent Devotionals and Books That Inspire Faith and Justice by Betsy Shirley
Lent can be intimidating, but these resources offer guidance.
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