Stop Holding the Presses!

I just remembered subtext. Oh snap.

Mankind, you are so good at giving names to God’s creation. Your first job may have been your best job. Well, second-to-first job, as I fumble to Genesis 2:15-20 in my grande-sized John MacArthur Study Bible (where o where has my slim faux-leather ESV gone?).

Theatrically, “Subtext is Content Underneath The Spoken Dialogue,” (thanks VCU! and manifests the same in literature, though writing each of them are different tasks. Reading or viewing them, on the other hand, are always the same: 1. look at what’s happening, 2. consider what it means beyond or beneath what is visible.

I totally forgot this, or at least, I forgot the name. Nearly six years studying the human experience (through any channel, though mine have been literature and customer service) have conditioned me to watch subtext, to continually consider meanings. Now that I’ve internalized the process, and consider I AM the only one with an answer key to all this covert communicating, I don’t make myself crazy nearly as much as I used to! But, internalizing analysis after a year of academic un-use, did lead to forgetting that subtext is as easy as the difference between what a person says and what a person thinks.

Not that people are lying when their words do not encapsulate their thoughts or feelings. Sometimes words just can’t capture that– or the time hasn’t yet arrived for true feelings to emerge.

This idea gives me a huge relief. For people I trust– such as my friends, family, or God–who may not always fully or frankly express themselves, I know that their words, if I take in context, will allude to their deeper feelings, and I need not feel betrayed by their subtlety. Really, if a friend is mad at me, for example, I’d rather she frown slightly and say “That did really hurt me,” than blow like an overheated corn dog. In that moment I read the subtext clearly, and feel the sharp pain my sin caused.

Thank you, Jesus, for literature. There’s no way I could get what you do without a way to read it.

There may be more to say, but it’s past my bedtime. I didn’t expect this to be my return piece, but here it is!

Jesu Juva

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