Sunday, January 24, 2010

Valasske Mezinci, Czech Republic

It is cold again this morning, 5 degrees Fahrenheit. By tonight when we drive to Brno, it falls to -5 F. Ice is thick on the roads and we learn that Anna (see yesterday's post) broke her wrist in a fall.*

Today is spent at a Deaf church. The service runs  six hours with a break for lunch. When they have communion, it has a deeper symbolism. I wish I could experience it. They share a meal together with the Lord's supper as part of it.** 

There is more participation in the service than in our culture — and frankly more fellowship. When there is teaching, there is interruption and questioning. The speaker must be prepared to defend what he or she says. All talk. All pray. Even the young.*

It is beautiful. The time passes quickly even though I don't know the language. I once thought sign was mere translation of English — or in this case Czech — it's not. The Deaf draw pictures in the air. It is incredibly dynamic and visual — difficult to capture well in a still image.**

The day continues cold — I wonder if it ever got out of the teens — but not cold enough to keep a father from a jaunt with his son on a wooden sleigh. I don't mind this. I find it invigorating and use only my hat, gloves and fleece outside, never putting on my heavy coat.*

We end the day at Irca's home — the teacher of teachers at the Deaf school. She stands at the entrance to her kitchen before the art of her three children. She is the age of my oldest child and they share much in common. Both are bright, garrulous, teachers in their souls, given to testing the edges of life, and have had their share of troubles.*

 So the day ends as it began — in a dance of fingers, life expressed in rhythm, nuanced expression, dramatic and subtle shifts of bodies in which not a word need be spoken. It is a day spent amidst St. Francis of Assissi's aphorism: "Everywhere you go, preach the Gospel. And if necessary, use words."*
 *Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II
**Taken with a Leica M8


Anonymous said...

Very nice images Bill. Looks and sounds like a very meaningful time. Stay warm. Blessings - Matt

Leisa Hammett said...

Stay warm buddy!