Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.

all together now

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Some time ago, a fellow parishioner and I were discussing speed limits. He said the speed limit on street A is 35 mph and on street B it's 40 mph. I said I thought it was the other way around. He said no. It turns out that we were both correct. It depends on which section of the street you're on. For street A, it's 40 mph until you get into the neighborhood where it drops to 35. For street B, it's 35 mph until you get out of the busy shopping area, where you can then go a little faster at 40.

It reminds me of the story about the three blind folks describing an elephant. It went something like as follows. One grabs the tail and says the elephant is small and round and flexible. Another feels the leg and says the elephant is large and round and wrinkled. The third one grabs the tusk and says it's curved and hard and smooth. None of them had a full picture of the elephant.

And so it is with our perception of God. God is Father. God is Mother. God is friend. God is leader. God is shepherd. God is shelter. And so on. None of us can adequately describe God, but only our own personal experience of God. But the more we --all those before us and all those present -- share our experiences, the better we'll be able to understand the picture. Of course, we'll have to weed out some misperceptions too.

On the topic of perception, isn't it a little mind bending that we have no way of knowing how another person perceives something? For example, we may all agree that the color RED is RED, but I don't know how you perceive red. I can assume that you see what I see, but there is no way to know that. Which kinda leads into the topic of Jesus in art. We've seen Jesus depicted in a variety of ways, but we agree that it's Jesus who is being depicted.