Monday, October 17, 2011

Visual Closure

Graphic designers use a device called 'visual closure' when creating some logos and designs. It goes like this. Imagine someone just showed you a picture of a square, but one side was missing. You would know it was supposed to be a square because your brain automatically filled the gap and put the missing line in place.

Below is an outline made up of two pie shapes and a wriggly line. Of course, it’s a car. Then look at the Disney Channel logo – two circles above a broken arc. Yep… Mickey Mouse. And some ink blots, each meaning nothing in their own right, and no lines to join them, yet most of us would know the finished result is the logo for the World Wildlife Fund.







You may not know, but I work as a proofreader fixing other people’s spelling, grammar and punctuation. But I miss stuff sometimes in the documents because, if I’m not careful, I see what should be there not what actually is. And it’s why, when proofing a document, I have to read at grade three speed, one word at a time and often out loud… so I can see what’s really there.

This got me thinking about faith. Since Adam, we’ve all lacked something. Some of us are made up of blots, or wriggly lines or funny shapes. We’re all incomplete. Yet, when we come to know Jesus at whatever stage in our lives, God sees us as complete. We’re not perfect, but He fills the gap with His grace and healing.

Matthew told the story in chapter nine, verse two, of a paralytic who was taken to Jesus.

‘Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”’

What was it they did that showed their faith? What was it that inspired Jesus to forgive and heal the man?

They just showed up.

When we’re doing our work, whether it be writing or anything else, there are times when we have gaps; times when, like the paralytic in a way, we feel incomplete. But God is the great gap-filler. When we’re numb with fear, or lacking inspiration, or overwhelmed, all we have to do is show up.

I need to pick up my pen or sit at my computer − I just have to show up and invite God to fill the gap.

That’s faith and Jesus sees it every time.


About me: I live in Sydney with my husband Phil. We've been married forever (that's what you're allowed to say after thirty years). We have three adult kids, two d-i-l's (daughter's-in-law), one grandson and another grandson on the way.

19 comments:

  1. I like the clever analogies in this post! I had to reread it to discern the flow of logic from graphic art to proof-reading to faith to writing problems—but it's there.

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  2. Hi Jackie,
    Thanks for this clever and thought-provoking post. It explains why, as authors, we need others to edit our own work too - because we automatically read over those 'gaps' filling in what isn't there and assuming it is.
    I especially liked your analogy about faithfully showing up and faithfully trusting God to fill in the gaps. Can't help wondering what each of our personal logos might look like.
    Blessings,
    Paula

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  3. Hi Jackie. My husband and I have been talking a lot about faith lately, and that's the thing that stands out. You just have to show up, take the step, make some kind of move - and He takes care of the rest. He sees our faith in the small steps we take. Thanks for that. :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing your insight Jackie. Fascinating. Looks like some great tips for us all. I know I miss the little things in the busi-ness of life and work and this is also a reminder to me not to miss the little things!

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  5. Thanks for your thoughts Jackie. I love visual reminders!

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  6. Thanks for this post, Jackie. I like the analogy of putting faith to our feet...or fingers. Another thing that hit me was this: besides missing words, we can put too much detail in our writing, instead of leaving just enough for our readers to figure out themselves.

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  7. Just what I needed for today. Thanks.

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  8. Hi Jackie,
    Wonderful thought provoking post. Thanks for the spiritual in put.
    Jennifer Ann

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  9. Hi Jackie! I loved your post and your beautiful analogy. Thanks so much. It was just what I needed today, specially that we may be incomplete - but that all we needed to do today was to show up! That I can do. Thanks for the reminder.
    Blessings,
    Anusha

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  10. I had a similar problem once. Ten people critiqued it but only one person found a mistake. There is that email that goes around where every word is spelt wrong. Our brain works in amazing ways. I went to a science museum, and it was hard to say what colour the writing was, not what the writing said. (red was in blue colour, yellow was in red)

    MEL

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  11. Great post Jackie. Love that not only does God see us as complete He also fills the gaps.

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  12. Hi Jackie
    just like to say 'ditto' to what the other comments have highlighted. I guess the more simple the logo the more it captures our imagination. Has that something to say about our writing?

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  13. Thanks Jackie,

    We certainly do have gaps and imperfections in our writing and other stuff, and it's great to be reminded that God completes us. I also agree with what others have said, that if we take that step of faith, He will show up.

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  14. A great reminder, JUST SHOW UP. No matter how helpless, useless, overwhelmed, underwhelmed - and let God do fill in the spaces with Himself! My prayer today!

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  15. Also, can someone please tell me how I go about getting my name & piccie on this site, and my blog listed??? Feeling a tad left out!!!!

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  16. Jackie, my apologies for commenting late. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your blog, and I can certainly relate to ‘Just showing up’. Sometimes I don’t quite know where I’m going in a storyline, but when I start writing it seems to miraculously come together. I certainly cannot contribute this to any genius of my own. The Lord has a plan, and he never sees a half finished picture does he?

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  17. Jackie, fascinating post! Thanks for sharing your insights and I've enjoyed reading all the comments :)

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  18. Sorry for being late - a post well worth waiting for! I am running a workshop called 'Gifted for Service' over the next two Sundays and was thinking about a catching intro just this morning. God is so good! He used your post to spark an idea... Your analogy of God filling in the gaps is absolutely perfect! I hope you won't mind if I use the concept in connection to spiritual gifts (whichever they may be defined). Thank you so much (directed at both Jackie and God)!

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  19. Margaret. My words are your words. Have a ball!

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