Sunday, September 9, 2012

What's your native tongue?

We typically think of communication as the language of speech. We use idioms like "on the tip of my tongue," "words of affirmation," "verbal abuse," or "well-spoken." Yet some of us are happy never to speak in public.

In contrast, over the years, I've heard many acquaintances bemoan their disappointment: they expected to find a platform to speak to a wide audience. They wanted to share what they knew. They wanted to be noticed.

A few of those "would-be speakers" are young; others are middle-aged. Some are senior citizens for whom a time of wider recognition has never arrived. While the youngsters are still striving and hopeful, older people feel lost and forgotten. Unimportant. Unheard.

After you finish reading today, I'd appreciate some feedback from you (in comments please). I'm giving you a heads-up :-)

Yesterday, I read Psalm 45 and stopped in my tracks. I thought about verse one all day. The poet wrote about how he communicated: "My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer."

Hmmm. For how many of us is our "native tongue" not a public speaking platform but -- an act of service? A letter written to a friend? A kind word spoken to a coworker? A painting or music well-played?

My "native tongue" is not what I thought it would be. My current "tongue" is not even the same that it was previously (pianist, teacher, group leadership trainer...) My intuitive, natural communications have morphed into words on a page. I find writing easy. Fluent. Second nature.

Everyone is heard by others, whether we recognize that or not. Even those not well known at work or in the neighborhood speak a personal language. Some clearly communicate, "I want my privacy. Don't bother me." They shut others out.  

Others are gregarious and chatty with conversation.

Many people engage the world by doing, whether or not they are talkers -- assisting a friend's move, repairing a car for someone who can't afford repairs, helping balance a checkbook, baking a cake, visiting a shut-in, running an errand for others, or ? We'd love to know:
  • What are some ways that you converse with the world? (How do you tell others whether or not they are significant to you? Whether or not you care about them? Whether or not you think God cares about them?)
  • Has your "native language" remained the same or changed over the years? Was that expected or a surprise?  
  • How do you best "hear" others? Through their words? Attitudes? Deeds?
Please leave your feedback in the comments below.

Read more:
*For me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works. Psalm 73:28

“I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have trusted in me,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 39:18

*Christ says, “Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:2

*Those who serve well gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13

Moravian Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have saved us from sin and unbelief. Set us free from doubt through simple faith and the joy of eternal life. What an awesome truth that by your death we may forever live. Hallelujah!  

Let us be strong and courageous as we witness to your truth and grace, O God. No matter where we find ourselves, may we always abide in you. Jesus, as you went boldly to the cross, send us with confidence into the everyday places of life. Grow our faith as we serve and share. Amen.

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