Metaphors and jargon tend to be cultural, time, and context specific. It is not as if the individual is trying to communicate in code. In reality, it is the opposite. By using a metaphor, the author or speaker is often trying to use a shared experience to convey a complex idea. Yet, especially with time and momentum, metaphors become a shared language that insiders understand and use effortlessly. The same cannot be said for those on the outside.
For those on a specialized journey, metaphors and jargon take on a very specific meaning. They communicate what cannot otherwise be shared. In concise terms, complex ideas, experiences, and processes are given from one to another. There is a link between the level and maturity of the specialization and code like metaphors and jargon.
The result should be obvious; often it is not. People do not, frequently cannot find any meaning in what they are hearing. It is not as if they are dumb or stupid. Rather, it is the roles played by metaphors and jargon in the overall message. At best, they are confusing. At worst, they are simply misleading. In the extreme, they turn into simple noise.
For example, when “the passage he was reading was this: As a sheep led to slaughter, and quiet as a lamb being sheared, He was silent, saying nothing. He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial. But who now can count his kin since he's been taken from the earth?” (Acts 8.32, 33) He had no idea what the message was.
In the first case, someone stepped in and made the difference. You and I are called to do the same today. We are the bridge that has the experience to explain what being part of an accepting community is like. We can talk someone through the word grace; letting him or her know what it is like to live with unconditional mercy. We can even model “love”; showing the true meaning of the world in a time when it is used in ways never intended.
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