Monday, August 31, 2015

Lip Reading The Lives Around You

Here's a challenge, or maybe not. Have you ever turned the sound completely down on your television and then tried to figure out what is going on with the characters in whatever show you are watching? It's an interesting experiment (and it will not work if you use the closed caption feature).

Sometimes you can read their lips. Sometimes their actions betray the plot. Sometimes facial expressions can give it all away. There are only so many plot scenarios and I think they deliberately dumb them down for television. The networks have vast audiences and they need to cover the largest demographic to keep their advertisers and so they keep it simple. My point is that it's pretty easy to figure out what going on in a TV show without the sound.

In life though, if you are not directly involved in it's drama, it's not always so easy to figure out what's going on with people. As an outsider and observer of humanity, I try to do this all the time. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I can still slice the tomato when necessary.

There is someone in my Sunday school class that seems to have an issue right now. I would like to approach her about it, but she is my elder by several years and frankly, it may just be none of my business. The expression on her face reveals much. I can see it. I want to comfort, but I do not want to make her uncomfortable. She is one of the Lord's saints and has been in the family of God for decades. Still, I sense a disturbance in the force if you know what I mean. Her husband is all smiles and loving life so I wonder if he might be the source of her pain. It might also be another family member or it could be her. Whatever it is, I am sensing that I need to ask her if everything is OK. It's probably a stupid question to ask someone that's hurting, still, I feel compelled to ask. Getting involved can be good or bad, but you do not know until you inquire right?

If I pay attention to the events and people outside my own consciousness, the apparent confusion and pain of life comes pouring in. It is overwhelming sometimes. I think this is why I try so hard to disengage. If you know me, you know I have my own issues and I cannot not solve mine and attend to someone else's too. But is this not what I am called to do? Love my neighbor?

What would happen if we all opened up and laid out who we really are to each other?

That is scary. Why is that scary? There are probably things that we really do not need to know about each other. It would change relationships; how we view each other. People might back away from those they were formerly close to.  This is odd, but human, behavior. After all they are the same person they were before they told you whatever it was. You just have more information about them.

I have tried sharing myself with specific individuals in an effort to get to know them better and it has not always worked out. People talk. People blab. And the next thing you know, people you barely know are backing away from you like leprosy has been detected. I would go so far as to say that I regret coming in from the outside and sharing who I am with others, because the result has not always been good.

I would rather be alone than be accepted on someone else's terms. It's OK to be lonely as long as you are free, so I will stay on the outside looking in.

This is me. Others are not like this. Most others are not like this. They have always been fully engaged in life and with the people in their environments. So I think I probably need to talk to this person and see how "things" are going. Someone needs to. It's odd that I notice these things and no one else does. I will talk to her soon.

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