Second Hand Smoke

According to the CDC:

• Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.

• Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.

I am a recipient of second hand smoke. My parents both smoked cigarettes when I was a child, and I have strong and unpleasant memories of a care-giver down the street who watched me while my mother worked. Every day she smoked non-stop. The worst was riding in the car with her in the New Jersey winters with all the windows shut, breathing in her cigarette smoke as we ran errands in her VW bug.

I have had respiratory issues all my life. Coincidence, or exposure?

It occurs to me that there are other ways of encountering second hand “smoke,” as in the kind of smoke that comes with mirrors, or the smoke that someone tries to “blow up your chimney.” In this context, smoke is understood as “the obscuring or embellishing of the truth of a situation with misleading or irrelevant information.”

Sound like the nightly news? On any channel?

Essentially we are all victims of second hand smoke and mirrors. Nobody delivers the news any more. Nobody is telling the truth. It is all opinion, innuendo, and click-bait. Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him? The truth is obscured, misleading, and irrelevant. Contemporary news can make you heart-sick. And it is definitely toxic.

So what is truth? Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, heart, and the very being of God. Truth is God, expressed.

Psalm 25 New International Version (NIV)

2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame,

   nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your TRUTH and teach me,

for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

God alone is our only source of truth.

God alone is our savior.

In this age of constant confusion, lies, misdirection, second hand smoke, and cracked mirrors, our only hope is for God to guide our path, teach us truth, and to show us the way.

1 Corinthians 15 The Message

If there’s no resurrection, there’s no living Christ. And face it—if there’s no resurrection for Christ, everything we’ve told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you’ve staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ—sheer fabrications, if there’s no resurrection.

But the TRUTH is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries.

That’s the truth. You can stake your life on it. All the rest….ALL THE REST…will all pass away. The troubles, trials, and fabrications of this world will all bow down to the truth of Christ-resurrected.

When that time comes, do you think anyone will care about today’s headlines? What is trending on Twitter? What is going viral on FaceBook or YouTube?

Nope. All that will wither away in the face of truth.

So stop spending your day inhaling the toxic fumes of untruth of what is currently playing on the news. Quit logging in to the shattered mirror of social media. Turn your eyes instead upon Jesus. And the truth will set you free.

Suffolk Sunset by Michelle Robertson.

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