Saturday, August 2, 2008

Comment to Thinking Out Loud.

This was a comment. Was. Not is. :P

For what it is worth, we were taught in Interpersonal Communication, that no message will carry to the receiver exactly the meaning which the sender means it to have. Messages are "packaged", so to speak, using all of the prior experiences and thoughts of the speaker. Even when persons share the same set of experiences, they will never assign the exact same meaning and connotations to even a single word.But more than words, actions, dress, facial expression - everything communicates something, whether we like it or not and whether we intend for it to communicate or not. Humans are constantly seeking information about other people in an ongoing effort to ensure their own safety and the safety of those we love. Of course there is more to it than that. We cannot really care properly for a person without at least a rudimentary understanding of him or her. Because of this, we try to use what we know about a person to predict other things about a person: in other words, we stereotype. We could not survive without stereotypes. We expect a masked man with a shot-gun to be dangerous: we don't "wait till we get to know him better" to hide. We expect a doctor to wear a white coat and wash his hands. If he doesn't wash his hands, we might get sick.But on the other hand, sterotyping, or "pegging" people, is one of the surest way's of misunderstanding. Once you have "pegged" a person as being with this or that catagory, you view every move they make, every word they utter though that lens. For one person I met, every homeschooler automatically believed the earth was flat! For several of my fellow students, skirts mark Seventh-day Adventists. The tendency and neccessity of assuming certain things, as well as the certainty that nothing you say or do will be interpreted exactly as you intended, often leaves one feeling helpless and almost hopeless. We struggle to clarify our messages and be very clear and specific in our wordings. But I sometimes find myself throwing up my arms in disgust - ready to give up all striving to communicate. "What's it worth after all? Nobody will understand," my sinful nature whispers.
I find it interesting that the very Son of God, is the Word. When our words fail, this Word remains. And He does not stop speaking. When all we can do is whimper - and when we cannot even do that - He speaks for us and to us, to heal us. His words are living in that they act, accomplish his purpose. They are not frail or faulty like our words. Our words always fall short of the mark we aim at communicating. But His words never fail to act the very things he speaks. Our outward behavior will always be misunderstood, and often will succeed in effecting absolutely none of our designs. But Christ's outward behavior fully effected our salvation. What he communicated by His innocent suffering and death in our place covers all the hurt of our misunderstandings of him and one another. He is the Word who speaks and acts and accomplishes. In Him we share that perfect communication, though it wait for us in heaven.
When communication seems impossible and my soul moans, "Why do I even try?" There is rest in Christ. He communicated in my place. He understands in my place. I am understood in Him. And He still interceeds and prays for me when I have no words left.

1 comment:

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Nicely said, Truth Questioner. Thanks for sharing these insights, for expressing them so eloquently, and especially for bringing them into clarity with a confession of the Word who is Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer.