The moire effect happens when one or more patterns are overlaid. The result looks like some kind of mathematical equation. The effect commonly occurs when someone on video is wearing a finely striped shirt. The lines of the shirt cross the lines of the video screen in a way that makes the result look like a terrain map. The lesson to be learned is to wear solid colors if you know you’re going to be on video.
I’m worried that the same thing happens with my words. The texture of a sermon crosses with the texture of social media, and suddenly something new and unintended comes into being. Preaching is hard. The writing is hard. The editing is hard. And the live delivery in front of people you love is hard. Preaching is also complex. I rely on a variety of speech patterns. I rely on non-verbal communication. I rely on tone and inflection. I rely on pauses. I rely on relationships. About the only thing that allows me to step into a pulpit at all is the knowledge that if my writing is poor, if my words are misunderstood, or if they are clear and therefore disagreeable, I can have an in-person conversation later.
When my words change media, textures cross and nuance is warped. When verbal moire happens I am not allowed an in-person conversation in the days of social distancing. Of course, I realize it can work the other way. The images I write may be enhanced in positive ways. But that’s not where my personal demons are.
In the days where trolling has been refined to Inquisitional levels, I pray we can all give one another at least six feet of interpretive distance.