Breathing Exercises

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Posts Tagged ‘code

Mystery Solved (sort of)

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Back in January, I put up a post called Mystery, which encoded a short piece of text in a QR code. A QR code is a two-dimensional black and white image that can encode text (vs bar codes which only encode numbers). I gave no explanation for it, just put it out there, wanting to see how much people would work to understand something that was not immediately obvious. Here’s the code again:

If you scan the full-size version of this with a QR reader (apps are available for smart phones, and decoders are available online), the following text would appear:

Jesus often left things unexplained, yet invites us to pursue understanding. Why would he conceal truth behind cryptic statements? A better question: ‘how hungry are we for the truth?’

One of the proverbs says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,  but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (25.2). There’s an interesting tension in this text. God, who could be understood to hold answers to the great questions of our lives, somehow includes mystery as an aspect of divine glory. God ‘conceals matters’, and that’s apparently one of the great things about God? That feels like a kind of a bummer … but there is some hope in the second half of the text. Somehow human glory (like the best qualities of the best king) is to not be satisfied with mystery, but to go knocking, asking, seeking. We are meant to go after God. We can see God welcoming this kind of trouble throughout scripture. Consider how the epic troublemaker Jacob was allowed to best God in a wrestling match, while demanding a blessing.

The reason why I hid my text in a code was that I wanted to make the point that if I ever say or do things that are incomprehensible, I would want people to come after me … to try and understand (vs. settling for not understanding). I have spent enough time working with people to know that we generally do not try to understand. For example, if a person does something we don’t like, we write them off as the kind of Person That Does Things We Don’t Like … instead of asking them why they make the choices they do.

I’m for a community contract that says we don’t ever leave a mystery unexplored. Especially when the mystery is a person.


Written by dmaddalena

2011/03/06 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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