Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Did You See What He Just Said?

Did you ever wonder why Nativity Scenes and Passion Plays are so popular? How about the recurring showings of The Ten Commandments on television yearly? I remember seeing the musical Jesus Christ Superstar over and over again when I was a teen. Why? It was the use of contemporary armaments that struck me to the core. The visual effect of these war time machines presented to me in familiar ways exactly how it felt to be an “occupied country”; in this instance by the Romans. No mere lance or sword would have induced the goose bumps that rose on my flesh. While I find expressing thought and feeling in the written word challenging, and while my intent is to do so in ways that touch the heart and soul, there is nothing like seeing something in a new interpretive way to give one a new perspective.

A few years ago, my spouse and I (as spouses will sometimes do) had a heated argument as a result of the “look on my face.” While I still contend that my husband’s mind reading skills are not only flawed they are non-existent, it tells volumes about what our body language is saying to others that our mouths our not. I had this brought home to me over the past weekend in a profound way when I attended a funeral for my sister-in-law’s mother. While a sad occasion to be sure, I came away “hearing” some scripture as if for the first time. Did I mention that my brother and sister-in-law are deaf? And that the funeral mass was interpreted for them and their close friends in American Sign Language?

As I watched the “word” recreated in sign, I remembered some of my old sign language classes in which we were admonished that sign language was a whole body experience. Yes body language is as important as the sign itself when delivering a message. What message can be more important than THE WORD? I saw as if for the first time Thomas’ confusion with his question “but Lord, how can we follow when we don’t know where you are going?” Or the patience and love with which Jesus coaxed Thomas’ molasses mind along. Thomas was having trouble understanding I think, because he had no visual effects to help make it clear. Maybe Jesus should have been deaf. You’re probably thinking “Pat, “this blog post has nothing to do with motorcycles or even your New Year’s resolution! What is the point?”

Wayne Dyer tells us “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” In hearing the scriptures in a way I had not before, I had changed the way I was looking at them. They came alive and spoke to me. I could “see” the disciples “follow” and I could “feel” what they were feeling. There is no mistaking some signs. This post feeds well into my New Year’s resolution. Anything we undertake, be it a challenge in learning to ride, or wanting to aspire to the happiness advantage can only be successful in what we believe about it. If in our subconscious we look at challenges as day dreams or altruistic endeavors, we won’t ever achieve our goal. Yet, if we change how we “see” it, anything is possible. It is our belief about a thing that makes is so.

The next time I think something as not “doable” I am going to examine all the thoughts I’m placing ahead of it and challenge the validity of my thinking. I will change the way I look at it, argue with myself as I would do with a friend, and offer up counter points. After all, the only thing holding me back from whatever it is I want, is me. Maybe all I need to do is stand in front of the mirror and sign to myself to see how ridiculous some of my excuses really are.

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