English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips > Zhang Xin

Jesus bird?

[ 2011-05-18 09:08]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Jesus bird?

Reader question:

Please explain this sentence – “The call it the Jesus bird for its ability to walk on water.” Why Jesus?

My comments:

They name the bird after Jesus because Jesus could walk on water.

This, straight from the Bible (John 6, New King James Version):

Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

There you go.

Now, being someone of Taoist inclination, i.e. someone who believes in the infinite powers of nature, I can understand Jesus of Nazareth perfectly. I understand him however as a metaphor, not as the God Christians revere and worship.

But first, the bird. The bird named after Jesus is a real bird. The Australian jacana, for instance, is one of them. This, from Besgroup.org (September 25, 2009):

Like other jacanas, it has typically elongated toes and claws that help spread its weight when moving across floating vegetation, like the large leaves of waterlilies. This in turn gives the impression that they walk on water, especially when the vegetation is submerged, Such behaviour gives rise to the popular names of Jesus bird and Christbird.

Alright, let’s move on to the more interesting phenomenon of Jesus walking on water. That, again, is a metaphor to me just as it is a metaphor that Jesus was also said to be able to heal the sick and wounded. And I understand that to mean that he was able to perform miracles because he had faith in them.

In other words, his faith in the goodness of people and the infinite healing powers of Mother Nature, of which human nature is a part, did the healing for him. And he made it happen by passing on his faith to the sick and wounded so that they too had the same faith, and hope for a better future.

If you don’t believe this, try this experiment. Next time you meet a dirty old beggar in the street, offer him a banknote but at the same time look him in the eye and let him see the warmth in your eyes and see for yourself what your act of generosity and kindness does to him.

You’d probably come back and tell me it doesn’t work but that will be because either you did not care to look him directly in the eye, or that there’s no warmth and empathy in your eyes at all.

It was not the case with Jesus of Nazareth. It was not the case with Mother Teresa. And it was not the case with the late Princess Diana who’s still fondly remembered for her singular ability to identify with the underprivileged, the sick and the mimed.

In other words, miracles are bound to happen. They don’t happen more often because there is no-one for them to happen more often with. Just like when philosophers ask: If a tree falls in the forest but there’s nobody to hear it, will it make a sound?


Hence and therefore, be in alignment with Mother Nature and see miracles happen.

Every day, as a matter of fact.

Or to use a lesser word, call them magic. To the laymen, magic looks impossibly difficult. Yet to the master, it is as easy as opening his palm.

Anyways, be in tune with nature and see miracles everyday. You make them happen, too.

If all of this sounds too esoteric, let’s focus, for now, on learning the phrase “walking on water” – and that means, once again, the ability to do what’s magical, miraculous or impossible (to other people).

Here are media examples:

1. She has changed lives, inspired millions, influenced what you read and watch and some devoted fans no doubt believe she can walk on water.

But the real measure of Oprah Winfrey’s power comes next week: The talk-show titan will shut down a busy stretch of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile for two days while she tapes a giant kick-off for the 24th season of her show, which premieres on September 14.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Winfrey will be begin filming on a temporary stage near the Michigan Avenue Bridge starting Tuesday Sept. 8. But Windy City commuters will have to make alternate plans beginning Monday, when cars will be banned from the area and bus routes will be altered.

- Oprah Winfrey to stop traffic - literally; shuts down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile for season kick-off, NYDailyNews.com, September 2, 2009.

2. He can do no wrong. He can walk on water or climb Mount Everest without oxygen. That is Mahendra Singh Dhoni for you. The cynics might still say he is lucky and that he has too many things in his favour. But then don't all successful captains have more than their share of good fortune?

On the other hand too much must not be made of the luck factor. Even with everything falling into place one cannot have Dhoni’s record as captain just on this factor alone. He has notched up too many significant achievements to be called as just another lucky captain. An unexpected triumph in the Twenty20 World Cup, a CB series win in Australia for the first time, an ODI series victory in Sri Lanka for the first time, a notable Test series win over Australia, a 5-0 thrashing of England, a maiden ODI series victory in New Zealand and a Test series triumph in that country after 41 years. All these could not be notched up on the luck factor alone.

The uplifting, invigorating effect of just one player in the side! He does not have to be of outstanding ability or personality. He simply needs to be a little different from the others, to possess an aura about him and he can work wonders. That’s what Dhoni has done. On dynamism and entertainment value he was the best thing to happen to Indian cricket in eons. And now on results under his leadership he is again the best thing to happen to Indian cricket in eons.

Dhoni has clearly debunked the age old cliche that a captain is only as good as his team. He believes that a captain can transform a team and make things happen. He believes that good, successful captaincy is all about getting a cricketer to play above his level. After all, what is a captain if not a motivator? Dhoni has instilled in his team a sense of self confidence something that he possesses in abundance. The ultimate measure is results and on that basis Dhoni the captain is arguably the best thing to happen to Indian cricket. Even Md Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly hitherto the most successful Indian captains did not enjoy this kind of unbroken run of triumphs.

- Dhoni can walk on water, DreamCricket.com, April 7, 2009.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


In a funk?

Less than meets the eye

Sitting on their hands?

Sweet spot?

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑陈丹妮)