In a nearby small town there are a number of businesses with intriguing names. Two beauty salons are called “The Mane Place” and “American Hairlines.” A convenience store on the south side was called, “The Two Sisters.” Another, on the north side was called, “My Brother’s Place.” And therein lies our introduction to this article.
I was talking to a friend in one of the gas station-small grocery-video rental stores when a salesman came up. The salesman said, “Are you the manager?” My friend said, “Yes, I manage this and also “My Brother’s Place.” The rest of the conversation went like this:
“Oh, where is your brother’s place?”
“On Kaufman St. but it’s not my brother’s place, it’s “My Brother’s Place.”
“I know. You said that. But what is the name of the store?”
“My Brother’s Place!” By this time there was a tone of exasperation.
“Yes, your brother’s place. What is it called?”
“There is a store on Kaufman St. The name of it is “My Brother’s Place.” I am the manager of that store!”
“Ooooh! I see!”
At last the attempt to communicate had become true communication. There was a meeting of the minds and a true sharing of a thought.
The Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary I have open before me says that communicate means “to give to a person or thing a part or a share of something.” It also says that in the present day this usually refers to immaterial things like understanding, knowledge, hope, encouragement, etc. Historically it referred to sharing anything with others. Paul told the Philippian church, “You did well that you communicated with my affliction.” To the Galatians he said, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Gal. 6:6. In both of these scriptures and many others the idea imparted by communicate is to share material things, money to be specific.
Elsewhere communicate is used as we usually use today to mean the sharing of information or ideals or ideas. “I communicated unto them that gospel which I preach to the Gentiles.” Paul said in Galatians 2:2. When we communicate, we share. One who partakes of the Lord’s Supper is sometimes called a communicant – he shares in the death of Christ. We communicate when we give of our material means. We communicate when we share our thoughts and ideas with others. We communicate when we share ourselves with our family or others.
The failure to communicate destroys the husband-wife relationship. It destroys the parent-child relationship. It destroys the church when there is no communication between individual members and between members and leaders. What an irony! We live in an age of unbelievable technology for communication, and yet there is probably less real communication than at any time in the history of the world!