Diamond in the Sink
Scheduled for January 12
wife is not a woman given to “water power.” She does not go into tears over
the minor upsets of life. She is not one of those women who use tears as a
weapon to get what she wants. When she cries, she means it. When she cries, I
you can imagine that I was extremely concerned when I came home one day to find
her hovering over our kitchen sink, bawling her eyes out. She was clearly
crying over something in the sink, and it wasn’t onions. It took some time for
me to get her sufficiently calmed to find out what happened.
was crying because she had lost the diamond out of her engagement ring. It’s
interesting to see the difference in our reactions. My first thought was,
“You’ve got to be kidding?” (If you knew how little that diamond cost -- and
it was the biggest one I could afford at the time -- you’d understand my first
reaction). To me, it was a relatively inexpensive gemstone.
her, however, it represented her marriage. She had lost the symbol of
something which (she tells me) makes her happy. I began to think about it in a
it interesting that the deepest form of communication in our species is
symbolic communication? It is the least precise form of communication, to be
sure, because its meaning depends both on the one talking and the one
listening. For example, when I see an American flag -- a symbol -- it carries
deep meaning to me. For many of you it does also, but the meaning is somewhat
different. Yet we refer to these meanings by the same symbol. The
communication is not complete in what I say when I show the flag; it needs
your experience to be complete communication. To my wife, that ring was
symbolic communication from me to her, and it was very precious.
symbolic communication. It needs a symbol, like the engagement ring. It needs
a sender, but it is not complete without the experience of the receiver. The
deeper the experience on both sides, the more meaningful the communication.
important to see that symbolic communication is used where the message involves
the total life of those doing the communicating. Such a communication is found
in the Lord’s Supper. The bread and the cup are symbols. Simple things; like
a ring, or a flag, yet these are packed with meaning. They represent the body
and blood of our Lord. As such, we see that Jesus committed his whole life
into those symbols. He has made this communication as deep as it can possibly
the communication is not complete without our lives. If we’ve never seen the
flag before, it means nothing. If we choose to ignore the wedding ring, the
communication is rejected. But if we commit our whole lives to Christ, the
symbols take on the deepest of meaning for us. They become, symbolically, the
very body and blood of Christ. They become our salvation; they become the
promise of resurrection. And they are very precious indeed.