Friday, October 28, 2011

Resonating


That resonates with me.
I’ve said it.  You’ve probably said it.  It’s a reasonably common phrase.  We seem to mean that something we read or hear rings true to us.  It has personal meaning.
We would never say that a mathematical formula expressing a chaotic system or a medical diagnosis resonates with us.  That is because we expect truths like that to be objective.  Mostly we reserve that phrase for subjective or personal matters.

I can say that about a film or a poem or maybe even an impassioned speech.  The image of “resonance” implies that my soul echoes or reverberates with the thing I’m hearing or seeing.  I am somehow moved inwardly.  Or more often, I'm simply saying that the thing reflects what I already believe.
Sometimes the Bible resonates with me.  Sometimes, not so much.  Holy Scripture has the capacity to move us and speak to our own experiences of life.  But if Scripture’s only authority were to resonate with my life, then it wouldn’t be much of an authority at all. 
In fact, how I happen to respond to Scripture would be the measure of its truth.  If I experienced dissonance between the words of the Bible and my assumptions, values and behavior patterns, I would reject those words in favor of what my personal experience and preferences taught me.
But the power of Scripture lies precisely in the kind of truth it offers.  When we read faithfully God speaks from its pages.  The dissonance we experience leads us to reflect honestly on our own life and our own assumptions.  The power of the Word is the power to change our lives, to make us more than we already are.
(The image above is Caravaggio's Narcissus found at this link.)

No comments:

Post a Comment