2 Detectives and a King Have Something to Say About Denial

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

The skill of seeing what is right in front of your face may come easily for some. Is it simple for you?

Poor Dr. Watson

As a joke goes, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner, they retire for the night.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

“I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes” replies Watson.

“And what do you deduce from that?”

Watson ponders for a minute. “Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?”

“Watson, you idiot!” Holmes says. “Someone has stolen our tent!” ¹

Ah, poor Dr. Watson. Intelligence is not enough to overcome obtusity. Whether we choose to not see, or are taken off-guard, or do not recognize what we are seeing, denial of reality shortens the extent of our understanding, and in Watsons’s case, the temper of his friend.

“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.” ²

A phrase in a Proverb of Solomon describes the freedom that comes with awareness. “Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live…”³

A fifteen-year-old today is lashing out and hospitalized because of the abandonment and abuse she suffered during the first ten years of her life. Trauma has changed her outlook, behavior, and psyche. People are trying to counsel her, yet she may be denying that she is affected.

I remember feeling that way, trapped by my own control. Existing in denial meant that I could pretend to be right while blaming myself for major flaws in significant relationships. Denial was easier than accepting the truth of rejection. 

Well, so much for that! As truth and evidence crawled to the surface, simple, yet hard-earned lessons retrained my thoughts. Over time, the joy God intends for each of us became mine.

Solomon’s proverb goes on to say, “… learn to use good judgment.”

Freedom from the chains of false guilt, resentment, blame, under-the-surface anger, negative self-talk, hopelessness, and much more is a perfect gift from the heavenly Father. Worthy of note is that denial never unveils itself without help from the outside. How can it? It is a blindness, a darkening of the mind.

My eye-openers included wise counselors, support groups, and the Holy Bible. I became a student and stopped trying to force my own way. If you too struggle in denial, making peace with painful chaos, then follow Solomon’s advice. Leave the half-truths behind and begin to live.

Today’s Helpful Word  

Proverbs 1:7

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.


Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. 


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved


¹Johnson, Ryan. The Reader’s Digest RD.com: Holmes and Watson’s Not-So Excellent Camping Adventure. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/funny/jokes-make-you-stop-and-think/ on May 1, 2020

²Williams, Pharell. Song Happy. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbZSe6N_BXs on May 4, 2020

³King Solomon. Book of Proverbs; chapter 9 verse 6. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+9%3A6&version=NLT on May 1, 2020




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