Truth, like surgery, may hurt, but it cures. — Han Suyin, writer, A Many Splendored Thing
IN TODAY'S SESSION... we explored what it means to "seek the truth in love" through a true story of the Rev. David Pettee's research to learn about his slave-holding ancestors. Rev. Pettee's "hard truth" brought pain, but also joy, after he sought a connection with a descendant of a slave owned by his ancestor. We played a game in which we had to determine which personal statements people shared were true and which were lies. We wove God's Eyes, a traditional craft of indigenous people of the Americas, to embody the "tied together" theme of this program with an emblem of true seeing.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. How do we seek the truth at school? Among friends? In our family? In our congregation? Talk about how you feel when you learn someone has lied to you. How do you feel when you lie, or hold back parts of the truth? How is seeking the truth in love different from seeking the truth without worrying about the love part?
A Family Adventure. You may want to explore your family ancestry as Rev. Pettee did, seeking the good, the bad, and the ugly about your own ancestors. You can find a great deal of information available online, often for free, at sites such as the Ancestor Hunt website. If you have ancestors who lived and died locally, you might take a trip to the place they were buried. What you can learn from their graves and the graves of those around them?
A Family Game. During this session the children played a game in which we tried to distinguish true statements from false ones. "Two Truths and a Lie" may be harder to play in your family, since you know one another so well, but give it a try! Each participant writes down two things about themselves that are true, but which others might not know or might find surprising. They also write down one lie—a statement that they have done or experienced something they really haven't. Encourage everyone to mix up the order of the truths and the lie. Each person then has a turn to read their statements aloud once, and then a second time so the others can vote for the statement they think is a lie. After everyone votes, the reader tells which statement was a lie.
Since parents are likely to know most of the things family members have done (or at least what the children have done), you may want to begin all three statements with "I wish... ." Invite each player to write two of their real wishes (preferably, wishes that would surprise other family members), and one thing that they do not actually wish for.