What Does It Mean To Be Human?
I want to try and capture something of an inner experience I had a while back when watching this short video of young Isamu Yamamoto, a Japanese freestyle skateboarder (video below). When I first saw this video I had a flash, a revelation, of the beauty of humanity, our creativity, our desire to overcome obstacles, and our drive to risk. This video is beautiful! The cinematography, the music, and the skateboarding all work together in a way that is strangely deep and profound. It struck me in a spiritual and existential way.
For me, to be human means to live a life of curious yearning. Curious because we have a natural bent to grasp reality and submit it to our understanding. We are expressive creatures, manifesting our inner world in an endless stream of communication. We speak with lines, words, colors, sounds, and skateboards. We are always calling out, heart to heart, searching for someone to hear and understand. We are creatures of beauty and creativity, of love and connection. We soak up the sensory data from our physical experience, internalize it, and allow it to shape the language of our life. We are a chatty bunch filling the universe with our voices in both silence and sound. We are yearning and searching for someone to hear, to pay attention, to notice.
Humanity as a whole desires that our unique voice and language be received and appreciated. That our story would not fade into the cold abyss of space and time. We are desperate to leave our mark on this world, we are a people of impact. A missional race. Our lives ring out like an orchestra, with beautiful crescendos accented with deep moments of diminuendos. We were handcrafted by Love, in His image, created for the purpose of intimacy with Him and others. Created to overcome, to risk, to live. Our lives are spotted with tragedy and hardship, all of which add to the beauty and depth of the song that is our lives.
At times it can seem as though no one is listening, that our song is a waste, and doomed to be forgotten. But there is One who hears the cry of our hearts and savors the beauty of our lives. Love, leans down to drink in every note, and add to our tune His own splash of vibrance and life. He carries us everywhere and fastens Himself to us.
We are a people of love, creativity, communication, and connection. Our lives are always saying something. Don't ever fear that your unique sound is forgotten, for there is One who hears, who sees, who understands, and who is hanging onto every note. I see humans as beautiful works of art. Art that creates and manifests the depths of their inner world through countless mediums, humming and singing, painting and sculpting, resonating throughout reality. I am blown away by the beauty of human life, and the reality that God has crafted us in the image of His own radiance. He alone answers the yearning within our hearts to be heard and truly understood.