Jonah son of "My truth"

The book of Jonah begins this way:

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying,

It is worth remembering that this opening line is very similar to the modern day story opening, "Once upon a time..." This is to say that like any good story, the truth of Jonah is not limited to the historical or the scientific. The Truth in Jonah is of the poetic and mythical. 

And like any myth or poem, there are layers of meaning that go deeper than the surface. For instance in the name of Jonah's father - Amittai. 

Amittai means "my truth" in Hebrew. Which begs the question, what truth is Jonah the son of? Who is the "my". Is God the "my" or is Jonah's father the "my". Based upon the later actions of Jonah I think it is a safe assumption that Jonah is not the son of the Truth of God, but in fact the son of the anyone who has "my truth". 

You have your truth and I have my truth. It all depends on how we look at it. For instance, depending on how we look at light, it can be a wave or a particle. The problem is not that there are multi-truths in the world but when we are holding too tightly on "my truth" to not make room for other truths. This is a dangerous place to be. And this is the place Jonah is in. 

A brother asked one of the elders: What is humility? The elder answered him: To do good to those who do evil to you. The brother asked: Supposing a man cannot go that far, what should he do? The elder replied: Let him get away from them and keep his mouth shut.

A brother asked one of the elders: What is humility? The elder answered him: To do good to those who do evil to you. The brother asked: Supposing a man cannot go that far, what should he do? The elder replied: Let him get away from them and keep his mouth shut.

Jonah is holding so tightly to his truth that he is unable to repent. The people of Nineveh repents (3:5), the king of Nineveh repents (3:8) and even God repents (3:10). But not Jonah. Jonah is the only one who is holding on to "my truth" so tightly that he cannot do what his enemies or even his God does. 

It seems to be the case that Christians have been known more for the tightness of truth that we cling to rather than the humble love of Christ we are called to. Even after all these years, even after all the times we have heard the tale of Jonah, even after the example of God in Christ, still many of us are convinced that "my truth" is "The Truth". 

Can we really be that certain of our understanding of "my truth" when we are so easily fooled by optical illusions and sleight of hand? Theist or Atheist, all of us share the same temptation - we all think that "my truth" is "The Truth" and "your truth" is just silly, wrong, fantasy, inaccurate, false, or a lie. 

Perhaps there is wisdom in the desert fathers and mothers who believed the goal of Christianity is not truth but Love. What would my life look like if I were to embrace love rather than grasping "my truth"?

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