Handwriting on the Wall

A young friend came up to me one Sunday after morning worship and began telling me about a problem she was having at school. I listened rather impatiently and gave her some easy answers to her problem. She sensed that I was too busy greeting others to talk so she moved on. I didn’t give the incident another thought until on my way back to the study. Walking down the hallway, I looked up and there was my young friend’s name penciled on our newly painted wall, a work of art she did a while back and for which she received a severe reprimand.

I stood there staring at the handwriting on the wall; I thought to myself how sad it is that people have to write their names on newly painted walls in order to get someone’s attention. We call it vandalism and destruction of private property. Granted, it is, but maybe it is a great deal more. The word is graffiti. Everywhere you go, names, initials, drawings, slogans appear on everything that has a writable surface. Such a sight raises our anger so maybe it should raise in us our compassion. Has our society become so busy, so rushed, so machine oriented, so impersonal, that the only way people have to let the world know they exist is to write their names or make their marks on the impersonal objects we created to serve us?

CONSIDER that some people do such things out of a pure and simple need for destruction but maybe many, especially our children, are trying to tell us something. They may be using hard-to-understand means of communication but they are communicating just the same. And if we are to be Christ’s ministers to this confused society we had better tune in to what they are trying to say.

With a little elbow grease we successfully removed my young friend’s name and with a little attention we hopefully have removed the need for her to leave such messages on our church walls.

Rev. Wendell Mettey
Revised 4/25/2014

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