2/21/2017

Language ...




I posted this picture on my Facebook page the other day, asking those reading to choose one of these pills.

I chose the red one because even though it's been a life long dream of mine to play the piano, to be able to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in their own language would be one of the most incredible experiences we could have, don't you think?

One of the Facebook commenters said: 

"I'd choose the red pill, and then I'd sit in cafes all over the world, listening to the conversations going on all around me."

Wouldn't that be amazing!

It reminded me of when I worked in the Barber shop in Stornoway. When I'd be cutting someone's hair and making the usual barber-customer conversation, I always remember how different that conversation felt if I was able to ascertain that the customer had Gaelic, and we would then blether in our native tongue. There is an immediate bond between people who speak the same language because language is more than letters making up words.

It's more than a collection of words. In the world I inhabit, everyone speaks English and understands English, but only some were Gaelic speakers. There was intimacy and a bond that comes only between people who speak the same language, and I think if that language is what may be termed a 'minority language', then finding others to speak with in this tongue becomes even more precious.

When I was thinking of this the other day, my mind was taken to thoughts of what Heaven would be like. There will be no language barrier there! And, much as Gaelic speaks to my heart, I am pretty sure the language of Heaven will not be my beloved mother tongue! Every member of Christ's family will communicate with each other and the bonds will be unspeakably stronger than those bonds I used to feel with the customers in the Barber Shop. The language of Heaven will be a language with which we will all be able to communicate our love to the Saviour without stumbling and flailing over insufficient words. We will be able to speak of God's amazing glory in more meaningful terms than the weak expressions we can muster right now. Don't y'all look forward to this! 

Right now, I am so often frustrated when all I can say is 'Oh, it's amazing' in countless situations. I see a photo like this ...


Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula) in Panama by Miguel "Siu" on flickr

 ...and I wonder at the immensity of the Creator's detail and beauty, and my soul sings, my heart pounds in praise, yet all I can muster is, 'Oh, that's amazing!'. 

Ah, but in Heaven, I will be able to express how I feel. And not only will my language be appropriate, how I feel will also be absolutely spot on. There will be no sin, no lack of appreciation, no deadness of soul to dull the praise for my Saviour, my Creator, my Lord.

I am frustrated with my insufficient language too when I think of God's amazing (yes, there's that over-used and yet lacking word again) works of Providence, which has caused me to have a life that most certainly fits these words in Psalm 16:

Lord....
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. (Psalm 16: 5, 6)

   
What a pleasant and privileged childhood and adulthood He has given me, and when I think about my lot, I am overwhelmed, yet have insufficient words to express the thanks I feel. 

Ah, but in Heaven, we will all have the language to express our thanks perfectly!

And then, I think of God's amazing (yup, it appears again) salvation. All that was done within the Trinity before the world was ever created; and all the blood that was shed in the Old Testament sacrifices, so beautifully yet so insufficiently speaking of that great sacrifice on Calvary. All that Christ has done to secure salvation, and then to have that salvation gifted to me. Me! My heart sings, my breath is almost taken away, and there are simply no words to express my gratitude and my astonishment at what God has done.

Ah, but in Heaven! No language barrier. No fumbling for words in English - or in Gaelic. No frustration at not being able to say what I want to say. Not even a desire to have every earthly language! Because there, the language of Heaven will mean perfect communication, and perfect understanding between every single person there.

In Heaven, our words will be wonderful; but The Word - that Word that was 'made flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14) .... He will be 'altogether wonderful'! When I think about these things, I sometimes feel like I can't wait!




3 comments:

  1. It might have been 20 years ago, the memory still rich and vivid. I dreamed I was with someone in a place I had never seen, speaking and understanding a language that I had never heard before. It felt so good to be able to communicate in that language. My thoughts as I was speaking were not in English either, a little hard to explain. Often wonder if it might have been Gaelic or Adamic, perhaps I will never know at least in this life. I am so grateful for my Testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. Thank you for this lovely post.xx

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  2. Amen my friend!!! We are so limited by our human bodies and minds. I can only imagine what our perfect minds and bodies will comprehend in heaven. What a day that will be!!!!

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