“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see” has been attributed to Mark Twain. The hearing impaired sees many things the average person does not. Lack of attention and focus blurs much of what the average person sees, hears, smells, tastes, or touches. The face communicates more than merely what is said. Such communication often eludes those who can hear and are not searching the face to “read” what is being said.
Jim Wallis said, “Perhaps never before has Jesus’ name been more frequently mentioned and the content of his life and teaching so thoroughly ignored. One wonders what remains of Jesus in American culture except his name. Unless accompanied by a clear demonstration of what it means to follow Jesus now, the evangelistic message falls on deaf ears or, even worse, calls people to a conversion empty of real content.” What are those around you “reading” in your life beyond what you are saying?
Lent, Holy Week, and Easter attempt to focus Christ followers on their relationship with Jesus Christ. Sadly, these, too, are talked about more than interacted with by those wanting to know Jesus deeper and reflect His life more clearly. We can easily see the lilies, colorful eggs, and religious symbols but miss what they communicate because they are so familiar we do not really pay attention.
We will focus on something in life. Often it is the great “I”. Solomon is considered the wisest person who ever lived and one of the wealthiest. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, which is attributed to him, records “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Focusing on self brings satisfaction for a moment, but emptiness over time.
A sense of significance and real purpose in life comes from seeing the truth about Jesus. He is the One and Only Son of God, sent from heaven to pay the penalty for all our sins and provide an opportunity for reconciliation with God the Father. How clearly will we see it this week? Will focus lead to action? Will action include loving others as well as God (Mark 12:30-31)? Or, like many in Israel after the crucifixion of Jesus, will we just give a sigh of relief when it is over?