The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves.  People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves. – Leonardo da Vinci

I’m slow in comprehensive reading because of dyslexia, a learning disability I believe was inborn.  It takes me several readings to make sense of a sentence or paragraph.  Sometimes I go to the end of the sentence and read backward.  Sometimes I stop in the middle and look both ways – like a child standing on the corner, looking both ways for cars before she crosses the street.  My final step is to translate it into my tongue, hearing it in my head, before I take in its full meaning.  Slow process but they have helped me broaden my perception in all my studies.  [restrict ]

Jesus always seemed to send people away scratching their heads – even His disciples.  He was not a man with easy answers. He was not a seminar leader.  He never gave a three point message; His sermons didn’t fall easily into an outline.  Jesus spoke in a way that demanded participatory listening.  He did not go the distance to communicate to His hearers.  He went so far but no further, requiring any effort on the part of the listener to meet him.

His favorite phrase was “He who has an ear, let him hear.”  HEAR.  He used it as an activity – something that some people do with their ears, but not necessarily everyone.  Apparently a person can have ears but not hear, and in such case, Jesus is not going to go the extra mile to get that individual’s attention.  If people find something else to do with their ears, that’s their problem.  But ears are for hearing, and if there was a time for these marvelous instruments to be put to their designed function, it was when the Son of God was speaking.

Jesus will not dance on the table for anyone.  His words demand that we get up, come over, and find out what He’s saying.

To grasp the depth of da Vinci’s words, I HEAR in my head:  “A kedung (virtuous) e llechuul el chad al metemellang a tekoi e te kutmeklii.  Al ngarngii a metetoech eng tetitechii.”  In other words, your true character comes through in hard time – like a tea bag: it’s not much good until it has gone through hot water.

Morrie Schwartz gained great wisdom from his life experiences and showed his true character riding on wheelchair.  Abraham Lincoln, who had an ability (known as spiritual intelligence) to inspire and move others to action in order to achieve justice.  He called upon “the mystic chords of memory stretching from every battle field and patriot grave to every human heart,” and he hoped that all people would be guided by “the better angels of our nature.”

Light the candle… don’t curse darkness as Eleanor Roosevelt did.  When asked why she went down the coal mine to see workers,  she answered through her coal-smudged face, “I am my husband’s legs.”   [/restrict ]