Communion Pt. 1 – The Artist of Communication

Pro. Jeremiah Shepherd

There is a undeniable relationship between language and perception. The ways we view the world are largely framed by our communication, especially our speech. The breadth and versatility of our languages provide the extent to which we are able to effectively describe our world and define our relationships. Words and their meanings are the building blocks of conveying information, and that makes the development of any language crucial for understanding and future revelation. The problem is that our languages aren’t perfect. No matter how many ways we creatively combine subjects, verbs or adjectives, all fail to paint the full and vibrant picture of a world divinely designed to be seen, felt and experienced. This is precisely why it is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And if a picture is worth a thousand words, then our evolving world is worth more than the sum of its languages.

Imagine a master painter who possesses red, blue and yellow paint, and he uses all of them to create beautiful, colorful paintings. He then asks a collection of students to recreate a series of his paintings; Some of the students have only red paint, others have blue, and the rest have only yellow. However, none of the students have all three colors, and their ability to recreate any painting fails when it requires colors they don’t possess. In a similar way, all languages, and therefore all perspectives fail differently in their ability to express the breadth and totality of the Lord and His glorious creation.

Languages are created and even adapted for effective communication, but they are not without their limitations. It can be difficult to say what we mean, and that’s before considering whether others can even understand what we say. The challenges of language are why other forms of expression are so invaluable. Creative writings, paintings, photographs, music and video among other creative forms of communication have all proven why they are critica to understand our past and build our future. Accounting for these challenges, try to imagine God’s communication dilemma. How can One who knows and understands all things communicate to human beings with various communicative deficiencies? How can God clearly disseminate who He is and enable us to convey what we’ve been shown? As we will discover, the Lord resolves the complexities of communication in ways that only He can. He has painted His masterpiece on the canvas of the universe and effectively declared its glory. Now we must learn to paint.

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