An April Note from Pastor Rich

Inverted Letters

When I was a boy and in school, nobody even heard of the condition called dyslexia. That is a learning disorder marked by a severe difficulty in recognizing and understanding written language, leading to spelling and writing problems. It is not caused by low intelligence or brain damage and often runs in the male line within a family. I was an adult and already possessed a Master’s Degree before I realized that dyslexia was the reason why I had to work so hard through school. I could tell you stories about the times I was made to feel really dumb because of a condition over which I had no control.

Perhaps dyslexia was the problem for the Sheriff’s Office in Pinellas County, Florida when they had to deal with a typo heard around the world. For several months nobody noticed the mistake imprinted on their welcome mat, but that all changed when a deputy spotted the error. The $500 rug inadvertently carried the phrase, “IN DOG WE TRUST.” The company responsible for manufacturing the floor covering is correcting the wording while the simple doormat will live on in viral infamy (Google “In Dog We Trust” for a picture).

This is a mistake any of us could make and some poor soul has no doubt had a hard time explaining how he or she inverted those letters. In reality, we’ve all been guilty of the same thing but on a far worse scale. Maybe we spelled it differently but the effect was the same – we substituted something else for God.

Perhaps this is a good reminder during the Easter season of 2015. In John 20, Jesus, after the resurrection, was standing behind Mary and finally spoke to her:

“‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher)” (John 20:15-16).

There may be two reasons why Mary didn’t recognize Jesus at first: (1) She might not have been able to see through her tears. (2) She may have insisted on facing the wrong direction. Sometimes there are those things that obstruct our view of Christ because we are looking the wrong direction or because we have put something else between us and Christ Himself.

Inversion of letters is a common problem for the dyslexic and whenever it happens, the dyslexic cannot see things as they really are. Maybe we need to look at the welcome mat for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department and determine that we will always keep God in His rightful place.

Serving Christ Together,
Pastor Rich