Lukisan Theodore Levigne, Couple Fishing
Life is represented by signs. The sign contains two basic elements: the signifier and the signified. The sign has its own world and logic but at the same time, it intermingles with the factual world. The logic of the sign creates the reality which is called trace. The trace reveals that the presence is never there; the presence is outside. In order to grasp the presence of signs, we need interpretation. If the sign intermingles with the factual world then, then human needs the sign and its interpretation to understand life. It is not surprising that Gideon in the first reading asked for the signs. What kind of sign was which Gideon asked for? The sign was that God was with him. The presence of God was signed by the meat and unleavened cakes which were consummated by the fire from the rock. Having known that God was with him Gideon was strengthened in faith.
From Gideon’s story, we can say that the human capacity to interpret the signs is an obligation. Why? Because signs enrich the human so that human is able to face uncertainty. Uncertainty of course makes humans be anxious and feels lonely. But by the signs, he knows that there is a guarantee for his stepping forward because the signs -mainly the sign of faith- show that God is with him. The problem is how to read the signs. The first step is to dismantle the power we have as Gideon did. Such power could be our fixed thinking or behavior, our comfort zone, or our richness such as intelligence, authority, and money. Gideon was able to read that sign just because he bracketed all power that he had. He emptied himself to read the sign. It is a kind of low-profile attitude.
Accounting for the power causes humans cannot read the signs. That happens to the rich man. The result is in the context of faith the presence of divine for the salvation is rejected. Human power only leads to the impossibility. It means he denies the Almighty God and at the same time, he put himself as the mighty. That’s why Jesus said, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”.
Signs create new horizons and guide humans to the faith which delivers man to God. And for God, everything is possible because he is the almighty. God multiplies anything which is limited according to human logic but this is a real thing in faith. The proof is in verse 29 “And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for the sake of my name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life”. The existence of sign help us to cross from daily activities to another side; from the usual being to the otherwise than being.
So read and follow the signs that have been given by God and the signs will lead to the treasure of life and the kingdom of God. The act of faith is the requirement to read and follow the signs of God.
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