Today I learned that simply telling a font to become “italics” or “bold” is actually a corruption of that font, a distorting of the font by electronic means to give it a tilt or darken it up. The result is that making “Goudy” italics will look radically different from using “Goudy Italics.” Either way, the text leans and, alone, the difference is nearly indiscernible on a single piece; however, set next to half a dozen others, the difference becomes stark. This is why printers want to know what fonts you are using and what you’ve done to them, ensuring that what you “see” on the screen is what actually ends up on the proof.
I also learned that sometimes all of us use our words to “distort” the natural lean of people, the way the Italics button does a font. When this is done, we actually undermine the unique giftedness of others. In the process, we actually undermine our own giftedness. Someone may use knowledge, experience, and an untemptered wit to smack at the position of another, to subtly undercut authority without outright insubordination. What does one do in such a situation? The heart screams revenge while the Gospel sings grace. But even Jesus said (in essence), “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you; blast it all, you are doomed if you don’t repent.” Like Tim Habbershon said, “Sometimes the pattern in a business is: grace, grace, grace, grace, grace, your fired.” And so we love, and trust that we cannot trust our own hearts or mental dispositions. The reality of what it means to walk by faith comes to play in no clearer place than when dealing with those whose apparent goal is self promotion through the humiliation of others.