Except when it comes to foreign films, I have never been a fan of subtitles. It always seems like so much more work to have to read and watch at the same time and to also ignore the spoken words in a language I do not understand.

And then came Ice, our younger dog who, being young loves to wrestle and whine and croon dogsstrange canine songs. She is also an expert at enticing Driver, our older dog, into wrestling and whining and wailing even stranger canine songs. When the dog interference was coupled with the fact my hearing is probably not what it once was, the subtitles suddenly became a welcome guest.

I understand these are for the benefit of those who are hearing impaired and the reasons for the subtitle are not always useful for me. Just the same, they can be entertaining.

I find the most interesting subtitles appear when there is no dialogue. Some of my favorites are [Expectant music], [Anticipatory pause], [Intensity intensifies], [Surprised expression], [Upbeat elevator music playing]. and [Voices in head].

I have also become even more keenly aware of my loss of hearing by the following subtitles: [Distant train whistle], [Faint barking], and [Screams heard in the distance]. At times, all I can do is think “What train, dog, or screaming?” and hope those missed items are not integral to the plot.

How different my life would be if I came with subtitles. There I am standing in a grocery store waiting in the 12 items or less aisle. I notice the person ahead of me has 22 items. As they turn to look at me my subtitle flashes on [Peevishly Impatient].

Or am I watching what seems to be never-ending political ads and suddenly appears [Thinking loudly: Yea, like you are really going to do that!] Countless other examples come to mind where my true thoughts or feelings would be exposed to all. Not a good image.

The subtitles that concern me the most are those that concern my relationship to God. As I sit in church would everyone see [C’mon, this hymn again]? As I listen to the sermon [Only a little more and he is done].  And as I walk again towards those sins with which I choose to not battle [Sin is crouching at his door.] (Genesis 4:7)

Even more fearful is that subtitle that I know is lurking inside of me; [All your promises sound great, God, but sometimes I wonder if they are only for others.] Because the resolution of my issues are not answered in my time and in my desired outcome, I doubt God and his love for me.

To be able to doubt, I need to overlook that I woke up this morning. I have to forget the tremendous blessings I have in a loving and believing wife, children and grandchildren. I would refuse to acknowledge all the other life blessings of the past 66 years.

But most of all, I would choose to ignore God’s undeserved love in sending his son, Jesus to die for this sinner. He punished him for all of my sins. Jesus’ payment sets me right with God and now I have a place in heaven; because he loves me. How will he not resolve all my problems in a way that only benefits me? Lord, grant me a faith that always trusts you.

If I did live my life with visible subtitles to all, there is only one that would count. Sure I would like to be seen as [Intelligent], [Loving husband and father], [All-star employee] or [Great friend to all]. But those would disappear once my life here on earth ends.

The one that will never go away, the one that needs to be evident to all even without a visible subtitle is this:

[A Sinner Saved by Grace]

Thanks for taking some time out of your busy day to read this. I hope you can come back sometime. I will wait you.

This is an old song sung with a lot of heart. I cannot listen to it without thinking that is what knowing Jesus is all about.


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