Monday, September 16, 2013

God Speaks Our Language

This past weekend I traveled with my parents and my best friend from my home in Pittsburgh to a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio to visit my brother, his fiancĂ©e and their kids. We had an opportunity to meet my future sister-in-law’s parents during our visit. At one point, the discussion turned to her family’s confusion and amusement with my brother’s Pittsburgh accent and his use of the Pittsburgh dialect otherwise known as “Pittsburghese.”  Although they knew what pop is, they had no idea what my brother meant when he said he was redding up the living room, nor did they know what jimmies are! We had lots of fun interrupting for them the strange language their future son-in-law speaks.

Earlier that morning, we had attended worship at a local church where a woman interrupted the words of the minister and the song lyrics in sign language for the deaf congregants. I’ve had a fascination with American Sign Language (ASL) ever since I was a child and nearly lost my hearing to endless ear infections. As Scripture was being read and expounded upon, she expertly conveyed the gospel and the practical life applications preached in the message with her hands. I watched her so intently that I even picked up a few signs along the way.

As I think back on these two separate events, I realize how very important it is to be able to communicate in the language of the person I am communicating with. I can talk, but if they can’t understand me, I am only making noise. If they can understand my words, then a connection is established and God will make use of that connection. The minister spoke with great eloquence (and a beautiful British accent) and using clear examples he explained that like the lost sheep and lost coin, we are only of use, we only have value, when we are in the Master’s possession and being put to the use as God intends. His point was made clear when he said that a $10,000 gold piece lost in the dust bunnies under the sofa is worthless to the widow. It is only has worth once it is found and she can use it as it is intended to be used…as currency in exchange for her needs, wants, and desires at the marketplace. However, to the deaf congregants, his words were empty and meaningless until they were conveyed in their own language. This woman was the embodiment of the preacher’s message as she used her ability to speak using ASL to share God’s message with those who could not hear his words. Through her, God spoke the message to them in their own language. Whoever you are, whatever dialect or language you speak, God speaks your language and what he’s saying is, “I love you. I died for your sins. I rose from the dead to give you eternal life and I will never, never, never leave you.”

1 comment:

Audrey said...

I really enjoyed and appreciated this blog. It made me think and reflect on my own life. Just like the lost coin in dust doesn't matter if we have talent, if we don't use it. I need to give this message more thought and be aware of how it speaks to my own life.
Thanks for sharing.