Words vs. Understanding

November 6, 2006

Light-BulbPart of married life is having your spouse say something to you. Repeatedly. And you say you get it. But you don’t, not really.

We have a new church home (remind me to blog about it). You may know that I dislike the term “church service” but if I use newfangled words you won’t know what I’m talking about, so: The church service is now our service. Everything is still new to us, but it’s ours. And once it’s “our service” in “our church” I think it’s important meet other people, especially those who may be new to the whole church service thing.

While I am talking to people after the service, it’s not unusual to have Kay come up and tug my arm, saying, “Jon, we have to go.” Talk. Talk. Tug. “Jon, we really have to go.” And afterwards: “Jon, you go off and talk with this person or that person, and I’m stuck with the kids.” To which I reply, “The kids are fine. You’re not ‘stuck’ with them.” That earns me the You Don’t Understand look.

It is so easy to hear someone’s words, and because you understand the words you think you understand the person. It’s Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra all over again. This is why Kate Bush sings, “If I only could, I’d make a deal with God, and get him to swap our places.”

I was Mr. Mom while Kay was away visiting her dad. Yesterday the kids and I “went to church” (I hate those words but you know what I mean), and afterwards I wanted to spend some time meeting people.

But there were three pairs of eyes looking at me.

I was stuck with the kids.

So we left.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

10 responses to Words vs. Understanding

  1. Ahh a litle life lesson there, eh? 🙂 I’m dying to know where you guys ended up. So yes, please blog about your new church. So sad you didn’t come check our church out, but really glad you found a place to belong. That is wonderful! 🙂

  2. Helen,
    Nothing beats a life lesson.
    As for our new church… well, I dunno, maybe I’ll keep you in suspense. 😉

  3. Spouses are good at the life lesson thing.

  4. Kevin,
    Guys tend to read Genesis 2:18 “It is not good for the man to be alone” in terms of being lonely, or horny. But maybe the next phrase, “I will make a helper suitable for him,” means, “Uh, this guy really needs HELP.” 🙂

  5. Jon, proven many times in my marriage. Thanks bro.

  6. *NICE* Star Trek reference. At least now you have walked a mile in her shoes and know, most people don;t ever get to, or have to, do that…

  7. Noelle, I’m glad someone got the reference! 🙂

  8. Oh please, I just thought it was obvious, although an excellent analogy (besides, you provided a link). Now if you had referenced “The Inner Light,” my favorite episode, and Picard’s relationship to his ‘family,’ I would have been impressed… 😉

  9. Just for Randall:
    “The Inner Light” also shows the power of experience over words. In general, history is just information — data — that does not change the way we live. …Unless, somehow, you come to “own” it as your own.
    Let’s stay open to “alien probes” that come our way.
    (Yes, it’s my favorite episode too!)

  10. hehe, ok now I’m impressed 😉