Redefine:

A hush overtakes Fallbrook Middle School. The students, faculty and staff have just found out that Mr. D. is out for the rest of the semester, due to illness. Mr. D’s History students wait in silence, to find out who will be teaching the class.

In walks the female version of Attila the Hun; there is a collective groan as she writes her name on the board. She asks if this is History class and the students say “no. It’s not ‘History’ it’s ‘His-and-her-story’. You need to redefine your terms.”

She stares, flabbergasted, then sends them all to the principal’s office for being disrespectful.

Yes. I watch School of Life, starring Ryan Reynolds, all the time. Shall we move on?

One of the classes I have really enjoyed this semester is Evangelism and Mission II. We’ve spent a lot of time deconstructing language, and creating space for the formation of new words.

I think that’s my favorite “things seminarians say.” Creating space. We’ve spent a lot of our semester creating space for dialogue on issues, for questions, for redefining our terms.

Specific to our class are words like evangelism and mission, which carry a lot of baggage and may warrant rethinking. We discussed the other day the possible need to rethink or redefine the words “friend” and “friendship.”

The other day, when I was reflecting on these discussions, I was struck by another word that might need to be redefined.

Hungry.

A couple of years ago, I stopped using the phrase “I’m starving.” It seems to be a popular way that we try to convey hunger in excessive amounts, but when you think about what starvation really means to so many people, the word starts to take on a different meaning.

I wonder if we could start to think seriously about the meaning the phrase “I’m hungry” carries as well.

In Spanish and Portuguese, we don’t have “I’m hungry.” We have “I feel hunger” or, “I have hunger.” But, at no point in the Spanish or Portuguese languages are we defined as suffering because of a lack of food.

I think I’m going to stop saying I’m hungry. I’m gonna try for “I feel hunger” or, “I have some hunger right now.”

Just some food for thought. HAHAHAHA!! Yep.

That. Just. Happened.

What do you need to redefine?

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