‘lies will lock you up with truth the only key’ – Missy Higgins, The Special Two
There is something about Missy Higgins’ lyrics that evoke a raw honesty. This song is a story of someone who is agonizing with regret over a sexual affair which has torn their relationship apart. It is a beautiful song of remorse and grief for what the betrayer and the betrayed once had, but which then turns to a strong resoluteness to make things right again. It is a song of desperate hope that, out of the ashes of infidelity, trust may be regained now that the eyes of the betrayer have been opened and they realise the loveliness of what they once had.
I once heard it said that to be a liar you need to have a very good memory. It is also true that the more you cover up a lie, the bigger it becomes. Then sooner or later you have to tell another lie to keep the original one alive, and on it goes. Truth is indeed the only way out of this terrible mess. I also once heard some advice which was to tell the truth and tell it faster. The faster we can admit we are wrong, the sooner healing comes, and the sooner the beautiful waters of reconciliation can wash over what was once withered and dying.
The words, ‘I’m sorry’ can be the most difficult words in the world to say, for, once uttered, they make us vulnerable to rejection and unforgiveness. But they can also be the most beautiful, for they have the wonderful ability to release the shame that so mercilessly binds us in a prison of our own making. The next line in this song by Missy Higgins says ‘but I was comfortable and warm inside my shell, and couldn’t see this place could soon become my hell’. Lies indeed blind us to the truth. This is true on a cosmic scale in terms of our relationship with God, and it is equally true in our relationships with others.
Being honest and truthful is the only key that can unlock the door and lead us into the healing and liberating freedom that has been quashed by the darkness of our lies. Jesus said that the angels in heaven are more joyous over one sinner who repents than they are over ninety-nine who don’t need to repent. When we admit our wrong, he is faithful and just to forgive us. When we admit it to a loved one whom we have hurt, the response might not be so forgiving. But, incredible as it may seem, that is not the main point. The point is that you have been honest and you have come to the table. That very act on its own produces freedom.
The journey of faith, the journey of following the Master on the long and winding road up this mountain called life, is a difficult one. But it is one where you realise, once you are on it, that nothing else in life comes close anymore; nothing comes close to the glorious freedom of admitting your wrong and knowing you are at once free. It is wonderful indeed to know that truth can open the door and liberate us from the lies which lock us up and destroy everything we hold dear.