Friday, August 04, 2006

Genesis 11:9

Therefore its name is called Babel, because
there the Lord confused the language of all
the earth; and from there the Lord scattered
them abroad over the face of all the earth.

Trying to communicate in Mexico was both funny and
frustrating. Happily, at the church there were about
7 or 8 Mexicans who could speak a little or a fair amount
of English and one could always go grab them for help.
Oscar, who is with Campus Crusade for Christ in Mexico
was with us most days and he speaks English very well,
that was a lifesaver. But, at the retreat center where we
were staying, if Oscar wasn't around, there were no English

Maria, the main cook/worker at Chula Vista (the retreat
center) and her sister Felipe, were such good sports to
put up with our antics in trying to communicate. Trying to
get fifteen towels for the group, or asking for toilet paper
took quite a bit of my pigeon Spanish and pantomime, yet
somehow they always understood in the end. There were
always lots of giggles during the interaction, giggles on both
sides. Maria even understood when I needed her to heat
water and put salt in it to soak Kent's ankles which had
bad burns from working in the concrete.

On Friday, Kent and I, one of our sons and Hattie and a
young woman from our church, Jen, had lunch at Pastor
Gerardo's home. (That is the pastor and his wife above,
he has the large sombrero; Oscar and his wife Sylvia
are on the left.) We had a delicious meal of BBQ lamb
tacos and cosomme made from the lamb drippings. As
we were talking, using their 20 and 16 year old children
as translators, we teased that the language in Heaven
would be English, Lapita (Gerardo's wife) laughed and
said, "No, Espanol." Gerardo laughed and said, "No,
Hebrew." But, we all agreed that it will be wonderful
when the effects of Babel are over and we can all
understand one another perfectly.

That made me think though of how we communicate with
unbelievers. Often in our everyday language we use words
that are meaningless to non-churchgoers. I am asking God
to make me more aware of my own choice of words as I
bumb into people everyday, people that God has put in my
path for me to actually communicate with. How, if they
can't understand me, can I tell them of His overwhelming
grace and the hope we find in Him. In Mexico it was so
obvious that there was a communication gap that I was
willing to work hard to overcome it. May I work as hard
in Mayberry.

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

Aha! Good thoughts. I'm also working on true gentleness in my speech.