Photo and Commentary ©2019 by Maylan Schurch
Friday, June 7, 2019

I don’t know who invented sticky-notes, but I hope he or she is getting lots of royalties. Because even though I have a PC, a smartphone and a laptop, I still apply urgent sticky-notes messages to my computer screen.

For example, as I’m typing this, a hastily-scrawled note on the right side of my screen says “Car Tue 11 Jun.” Pretty clear message, right? Translation: “On Tuesday, June 11, remember to take the Toyota in for service.”

And just like my sticky-notes stick to my screen, I stick to my sticky-notes. Once its message’s deadline has passed, I don’t pitch it. Instead, I apply it to the computer tower, which is on the table just to my left. That way when I charge my camera battery, or remove its memory card to transfer its photos to the PC, I put a sticky-note on the camera’s screen so I will know that it’s lacking a vital part.

But what about the above note, on which I have firmly printed “HORSE!”? I do not own a horse, nor have I ever aspired to possess one. I do not have space in the backyard for one. My mom rode a horse while she herded cattle on the family farm during the Depression, but like many others of her era she regarded a horse not as a high-spirited recreation animal but as a farm implement.

So why my urgent equine note-to-self? As with any puzzling message, to get the right answer you need context. As it turns out, I volunteer at our Adventist school during the academic year, and this year I taught elementary sketching to a couple of the classes. This note was to remind me to go to Google Images and find an example of how to draw a horse, so I could teach it to the kids.

Context is key. It’s all very well to paint a large sign saying “Jesus Saves” and wave it from a freeway overpass. But getting in the way of its two-word message are all sorts of questions: Who is Jesus? What can He save me from, and why would I need Him to? Who are the people waving the sign? Why are they doing this? Would I like these people if I knew them?

So the “Jesus Saves” message needs context. And Jesus’s plan is that you are the context. My wonderful congregation contains many people who go to work or to school every day and live the way Jesus did when He was on earth. They’re kind to people, and interested in them, and willing to associate with them day after day so that they can see what Jesus-believers are like.

For four Bible verses which show some of the ways to do this, click the following link: