Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Community & the Deaf-Mute

My friends used to ridicule me when we were younger, because I would always share fairly useless information by which I was fascinated (for example, that dolphins can understand language demonstrated by their ability to comprehend symbols on a touch screen). I am going to continue in that time-honored tradition by sharing what I have learned today.
I read an article ( answering the question "In what language do deaf people think?" For those who were born unable to hear (sometimes called deaf-mutes), they never had the opportunity to hear human voices. This poses a problem, as we essentially think in the language with which we communicate. This makes it vital to identify deaf-mutes early on in their development, so that measures can be taken to teach them Sign, the independent, natural language of the deaf. If the deaf-mute do not learn a form of communication such as Sign, they can have major development issues. The article goes on to explain that the deaf-mute think in Sign.
It makes me wonder if a congenitally deaf child never learns how to communicate, and communication forms our very thought processes, then can he not communicate with himself? In essence, can he not think beyond urges and rudimentary innate communication? Is it written into our very nature that we need human interaction on an intimately-communicative level in order for our minds, our personalities, our identities to develop?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

arton epiousion

Most simply, arton epiousion means "daily bread". This Greek phrase has been made popularly known in the Lord's prayer, yet it is subject to much interpretive controversy. The main problem is that we don't really know what the second word means. Is this daily bread or necessary bread or future bread or even the eschatological bread from the end of the world?!?
Whatever this bread is, it comes from God and is related to his desires for the world and our communal need for forgiveness and reconciliation. In fact, this bread is right at the heart of the thoughts of reconciliation and of God's will for the world, which are found in the Lord's prayer. This is the kind of bread that, when eaten, bears, not indigestion, but transformation, redemption, life, re-creation, love, hope, literal & figurative nourishment, and renewal of the whole world. This is bread that does not take us to heaven--rather, it brings heaven to us.
Whatever this elusive bread is, I want to eat it.