If you are keeping up to date with reading my blogs, you will have read about my trip with Ted to the emergency room about a week ago. Ted was experiencing some pretty extreme left arm pain, so we took that heart attack warning sign seriously and went to the ER to get checked out. He was fine. Throughout the wee hours of the morning as doctors and nurses checked on Ted and wrote their reports, the repeated question to Ted was, “Describe your pain.” Ted had a tough time with that question. They wanted to know if it was burning, or stabbing, or dull, or achy and on a scale of one to ten, what number was the pain at. Ted had to ‘hmm’ and ‘haw’ over that. “My arm hurts and my fingers are numb!” was all he really wanted to say. And he thought that ‘scale from one to ten” was silly because he knew how much it hurt – but how bad would it get? Could it get? Was the pain he was feeling a “nine” because it was almost as bad as it was going to get or was he only whining about a “four” so watch out for when it’s really going to hurt.
Today I was thinking about his pain report and realized that the reason Ted struggled with his answers was because Ted was unfamiliar with pain. Ted is healthy and has no painful health ailments to complain of. No achy arthritic joints, no sore back problems. He has never been through enough attacks of pain to be proficient at giving measurable descriptions of the pain he was having. That’s a good thing, of course. No one really wants to be familiar with pain, although I realize many are.
They say that Eskimos have a whole ton of ways to describe snow. Well, of course they would! They get a lot more snow than most of us. They are familiar with snow. So, whereas we can speak about a wet snow or a powdery snow, the Eskimo people,, or Inuit, deal with all sorts of snowy conditions. The frequency of snow in their lives naturally gives them more familiarity of the different ways snow can come down and cover so that they are able to describe it more intimately.
Obviously, my point is that the more you get to know a thing, or a person, the better you will be at describing them.
Here’s another example. You walk into a room and you are asked to describe what color the wall has been painted. “White.” you may say. But the trained eye of an artist or decorator may see opal, linen, eggshell, pearl, or countless shades of white. The experienced eye will notice the differences and be able to describe the subtle variations. They are familiar with color tints and hues.
So if familiarity increases with how well you can describe something or some one …
Then tell me about Jesus Christ. If you just say “He’s God. He’s the guy I talk to on Sundays,” then I don’t think you know Him very well. Through the centuries, people have called God by many names as they got to know Him and experience Him. Have you gotten to know Him? Are you familiar with him? Some call Him Lord, love, life, friend, or King of Kings. He is Jehovah and the alpha and omega. He is rest to the weary and peace to the worried. He is hope to the hopeless, and strength to the weak.
Are you familiar with Jesus?
Matthew 16:15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”