I speak some Spanish, and I’ll jump at the chance to practice with native Spanish speakers. Usually these conversations involve awkward pauses for think time, a few confused looks when I say something completely ridiculous, and a bit of miming when words fail me.
Language barriers are hard to bridge, but there is a universal language that speaks loud and clear, no matter how words and attempts at miming might fail: LOVE.
I know a woman who heard about a group of Cambodian refugees that had settled in western Washington in the wake of civil war. Moved by Holy Spirit, she decided to go and visit them, just to see if there was anything she could do to welcome them to the US and help them out.
She found literally hundreds of refugees living in a new housing development, and she started knocking on doors. She was surprised to find that although these people were living in lovely homes with quality, modern appliances, they weren’t using the things that were available to them. Stoves, toilets, fridges, dishwashers, garbage disposals, washers, dryers–you name it, everything had remained untouched. They were actually cooking outside over fires and digging holes in their yards to relieve themselves. The reason? They didn’t know how to use their amenities.
My friend knew exactly what to do: First off, she helped them get their utilities turned on. Then she beckoned them into their kitchens, where she showed them how to turn knobs and push buttons so they could cook inside. They followed her into the bathrooms, where she showed them how to flush the toilets and turn on the showers. She took them into their laundry rooms, where she taught them how to use their brand new washers and dryers.
Here’s the really interesting thing: She didn’t speak a lick of Khmer or any other Cambodian native language, and most of these people didn’t speak a lick of English. But somehow, love broke the language barriers between them, and love had its way.
It didn’t take long before this woman was able to share about her Lord and Savior to her new friends, and soon after that, so many of these grateful people had asked Jesus into their hearts that a Cambodian church was established, right in the middle of that gathering of people.
God started this, you know. Jesus broke the barrier between Himself and us by leaving His throne in heaven to come to earth as a tiny, helpless baby. He was accused of being a drunk because He loved to hang out with sinners. Then, He became sin so He could stand in our place before God and plead our case. Jesus broke any barrier that existed in the hopes that we would take advantage of the fact that He cleared a path for us that leads straight to God.
God is reaching out to you today. He might be speaking, He might be miming, He might be revealing Himself to you in the glory of a beautiful sunset or a full moon. He is attempting to break down the barriers between you. Won’t you answer His call?
Happy December 15th!
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