Sign Language

October 30, 2001

1 Peter 4:7-9 – The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (NIV)

In our short lane, there are signs at the end of each driveway. One sign is a national flag. Another simply sports a surname. A third displays a fire number. But the fourth and fifth driveway signs really intrigue me. One reads, "Welcome, Welcome", while the other one states, "Private Property Keep Out Trespassers Will be Prosecuted".

Two signs at the end of two different driveways describe very aptly in a minimum of words a great deal about the people who dwell within the homes at the end of those paths. One speaks of hospitality and love; the other signals hostility and fear. One invites; the other dismisses. One embraces; the other rejects. One praises; the other grumbles.

One day as I was contemplating these two very different messages, God reminded me that driveway signs are not the only things that reveal to others how we may feel about them and our world. Body language can talk just as loudly and clearly as written or spoken words.

A smile engages. A frown can discourage. A look may invite or dismiss. A raised eyebrow can be used to convey negative judgement or positive opportunity to ask a question. Arms may embrace warmly, or display anger or hostility, depending upon their position. Even posture and the way we walk can tell the world much about our inner perspective and attitude of the moment.

Such thoughts challenged me to consider how, as a Christian, I am speaking to others by means of my sign language. Do they at a glance read, "Welcome, Welcome", or "Private Property Keep Out Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted"?

Prayer: Lord God and loving heavenly Father, grant us the ability to see ourselves and the signs we send to others as You do. Bless us with open hearts and minds to accept Your truth. Grant us Your love and wisdom, moment by moment, to be quick to make any necessary adjustments to our signs, that those around us might not only see "Welcome, Welcome" to our world, but to Yours as well. In Christ's name. Amen.

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Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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