Inconvenient Truth

Near the start of The Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufresne is on the witness stand, losing a battle for his life he will ultimately win. The district attorney calls “inconvenient” the inability to find the gun used in the crime. Andy has used the gun to make a hole in the river, though not to make holes in his estranged wife, and the golf pro banging her into the wall. 

“Because I am innocent of this crime,” Dufresne replies. “I find it decidedly inconvenient.”

It is the truth.

And that’s all.

By which I mean the gun, it’s use or non-use, it’s location and locatability, and, most crucially for our perceived “prove it to me” approach to life, whether we receive (accept) any of that information, is irrelevant to what is. Andy knows he’s innocent. He will be perceived guilty for the next two decades.

But the truth will out.

So take faith.

Faith is faith in Christ and the faith of Christ, as we come to understand. Faith seeks understanding, and what is sought is found. And it is what it is, as the kids say.

Admittedly, there’s always work to be done, and always more work to be done.

Andy Dufresne, for example, must tunnel through rock, and walk through a quarter mile of sewer — a river of shit, Red calls it. The faithful must do similar work, in ways appropriate to it.

The faith of Christ is rarely convenient.

If ever: it tells us to stay when we want to go, to love when we want to stew, to shut up when we want to speak.

It tells us to forgive when we want to gnaw the marrow of resentment.

[Buechner says we’re eating ourselves, but golly we enjoy that meal.]

And the faith of Christ is the best way of the best man who’s ever lived.

One of CSL’s better known lines — stiff competition, that — has to do with believing in Christianity not so much because of what he sees in it but because of what he sees by what he sees.

And Chesterton who came before says the more one becomes convinced of something the less one is able to explain it. Like loving one’s wife, it is. It simply … is. How could one not see it?

Each of these lines — Lewis, Chesterton, and Andy Dufresne (by way of Stephen King and Frank Darabont) — works by way of indirection, which is crucial in communicating truth. For that matter, add Emily Dickinson: Tell it slant, she says. Not because it’s practical or impractical, effective or proactive — or even rebarbative, to some.

Do it because that’s the way it’s done.

Continue in it, whether anyone sees or not.

The power in Dufresne’s response to the DA is that if he’s guilty, the prosecutor is right — how convenient the gun can’t be found. But he’s innocent. And because that’s the truth, it is inconvenient, and for nearly 20 years.

But Dufresne continues to live in that truth and of the faith of it. The tunnel is his monument to that truth, the boat he begins to build his reminder, to himself, but (since he’s had 19 years to learn it) most of all to us.

Do it because that’s the way it’s done.

Continue in it, whether anyone sees or not.

That’s how the truth will out, as it always does.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

Read More »

Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

Read More »

Greater Love Blah Blah Blah

Do we doubt locals thanked them for their service? I’m not equating the two. They were wrong; glad we crushed them. Only noting it’s likely they thought as much about such things as we do, which is to say not much. German citizens who believed their leaders, loved their country, watched their sons get on

Read More »

Dark Eyed Life

According to @CitizenScreen, doing yeoman’s* work daily on Twitter* relative to the Golden Age of film, today is the birth date of Mabel Normand, Hedy Lamarr, and Dorothy Dandridge — Normand: New York, 1892 Lamarr: Vienna, 1914 Dandridge: Cleveland, 1922 — which makes for coupla at least interesting, if not compelling or fascinating at the

Read More »

Random

Didn’t Graduate

Hadda a girl once, this was during college. Darkest, longest hair, biggest brownest eyes … Not that kind of story, whatever kind you thought. Being stupid (I said this was during college, yes?) I’d no idea … none. Not what it was nor what it cd be and thus not that one though it set

Read More »

One

Chapter Nine of Peace Like a River — the best novel of the first quarter century of the millennia and yes, I know there are 3 to 4 years left of that range, depending on one’s counting to 100 — is when the Land family hears they now own an Airstream trailer, courtesy of the

Read More »

Take Up Do

In my mid-20s — half an age (mine) and still nearly nil on maturity ago — I noticed a thing that at the time was massive but in retrospect, as such immensities often are after the time, obviously is something millions of others have noticed through all their times. At least one hopes. I noticed

Read More »

Make No Mistake

When I played baseball in 10th grade, our coach was forever admonishing us to Give 110% — often prefaced by a forlorn C’mon fellas … [In 11th grade, the coach would line us up against the chain link fence in front of the dugout and hit baseballs at us. He said this was to train our

Read More »

Related

Columbo’s Appeal

In researching links for this site, I came across an obituary for Peter Falk, who died June 23, 2011. Learning that it had been the night of June 23 (a Thursday that year) and not the next day (my wedding anniversary) was a jolt. I really, really, really, really like Columbo. But the bigger problem

Read More »

What Men Want

In an office of the U.S. Postal Service this morning, a morning show deejay played clips from last night’s Leno and … I forget now, but prolly was a guy after Leno, on the same network. Come to think it, maybe they own the station, and the whole shtick — supposedly hey you might have

Read More »

Jesus All The Way Down

The other day I wrote about having no hope. More specifically no hope in this world, more specifically because the hopes we had have been hammered against hardened sand and dirt and clay, that is, against the rocks. That may be the basic choice in life: Heart hardened … or Hopes hammered … And then

Read More »

Never Get Out Of The Boat

So you’re on this boat. You’re near enough to land if you want some of that, but you don’t exactly want to leave the old life. The old life in this case is not the bad old days B.C. Those are way gone. In fact, they mayn’t even be optional for you anymore. Sorry. That’s

Read More »