21 July 2016

"AHSH-AY-AIR BLO-KUH!" or "Yeah, I guess you could say context counts!"

It had been a crazy, insanely busy day -

I knew from the get-go that I'd be running, literally, from before sun-up until after sundown. 

Just in case you are wondering, officially there were 13 hours and just shy of five minutes of daylight on that particular day. I checked when I started the draft for this post...

So, at just shy of 4:00 pm, walking through the door of the house after picking up the kids from school so that I could get our kitty and have her to the vet's office 20 minutes later for a very important appointment (after which, hopefully we will all be sleeping better), I was most definitely a little distracted. 

And... the phone rang.

"Oui, Allô..." I said, slightly breathless after hopping over, around and through a rather large conglomeration of snow boots, backpacks, gym bags, lunch boxes, coats and other assorted items that six school kids tend to rapidly drop just inside the door when first arriving home.

"Bonjour! C'est AHSH-AY-AIR BLO-KUH..." and THAT was all I heard before the typical panic that strikes every time someone starts speaking French to me over the phone began to set in.


You'd think I'd be over this by now. 

I've been receiving phone calls in French for 16 years. 

It shouldn't still be causing such a brain freeze. 

But I really hate sounding like an incompetent fool...

Fortunately, I caught three words out of the next several that the speaker said: Monsieur, Wright and impôts (or taxes)... and those three words were all it took to give me a desperately needed context to aid comprehension. 

In fact, at that moment, literally EVERYTHING the caller had said suddenly made sense.

H&R Block (a name I've heard for years) was calling to speak to my husband about our taxes. It was, after all, April. Deadlines were looming. The office only had our house number and not Tim's cell - and needed to speak to him. I recited the needed number, we politely wished each other a nice day and I was back off and running to get our kitty to the vet.

When I walked through the door, before the phone rang:

  1. my mind was fixed on the next thing I had to do, 
  2. we'd been listening to an audio drama in the car (about Dietrich Bonhoeffer - what a story!)
  3. the kids were yattering about their days and worrying loudly about how the cat would do at the vet, 
  4. it was 4 in the afternoon (i.e. preferred sieste time), yet 
  5. I had more than half of a very full day looming, and
  6. the land line rarely rings at the house ~ unless it is hubby calling and, not surprisingly, we tend to speak to each other in English. 
And, even though H&R Block is a well known business name to me - it is something I've heard of literally all of my life - the name sounded totally foreign when pronounced with French phonetics.

Which brings me back to what seems to be a bit of a resounding theme lately ~

It is difficult to make good decisions or knowledgeable judgments if I don't have sufficient context to have any real comprehension. 

It is impossible to participate in profitable discourse concerning the pertinent and difficult questions that trouble our present times.

Yet instead of slowing down, 

rather than gathering more information and 

discerning a context...

there's this strong temptation to plunge ahead, regardless of collateral damage. 

Arrogant, egocentric, lazy and impetuous, I quickly assume that my perception from my point of view is, if not exactly identical to that of God, it is most certainly the next best thing.

Yet, without context... without understanding... 

without any recognition of how my present perspective prejudices... 

or possibly even perverts... 

How can I arrive at an equitable and more complete understanding of the reality in question?

This attitude, so prevalent - today, and, apparently, in Jesus' time - closes conversations rather than encouraging dialogue, learning and change for the better.

And in John, Jesus is pretty clear that I have no business judging, without first having enough knowledge to do so correctly.

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