A New Language
This morning I was reading Genesis and was going through the genealogy of Noah. I must confess, I am the type of person who often skims the genealogies. I get bogged down and bored by the names I have a hard time pronouncing and most of the time don’t know enough about the lineage to make a connection between who begat whom. But today, as I was reading about Noah’s boys and their descendants, I was saddened because I saw the names of tribes and peoples in a familial context who I would later see fighting. The ones who had once been family would one day enslave each other. Then I got to the story of the tower of Babel. As a kid this always fascinated me. The fact that there were no language barriers was so cool. As someone who has a very hard time learning languages, I love the idea of not having to fool with translators or conjugating verbs. The story goes on to tell about how at one time some people decided that they were going to build a tower that reached to heaven so they will be famous. As I understand the text it seems as if one reason they were doing this to try and stay together as a group. But you know what happened? It had the exact opposite effect. As a result of their actions, God made it where they didn’t understand each other anymore. He gave them different languages and they scattered throughout the world.
The first thing that stuck out to me though was Genesis 11:6 “And the Lord said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” And in light of everything going on in the country now and how divided people are, I read that and jotted down a little prayer: Imagine what we, as Your people, could accomplish if we came together speaking Your language. I know that not everyone is going to agree on how things should be done. But I also know that blasting people on social media and yelling without listening is doing nothing but create a bigger chasm. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about respectfully letting our voice be heard. When on of the girls I nanny asked me what a protest is, I told her it’s a great privilege that we have in our country. We get to let our voice be heard. I personally get a little choked up that I have the right to peaceably speak my mind and living in this country is a great privilege I never want to take for granted. Very rarely though will you hear me speaking of the controversial things I care deeply about in such an open format as FB or IG because too many times there are loud people who share of some my core beliefs but go about expressing them in a way I vehemently oppose. Also, for me, when I hold something close to my heart, I guard it and treasure it. There are the things that I personally reserve for face to face or one on one conversations because I don’t want my heart to be misunderstood. But this, this idea that if all people who call themselves followers of Christ, could come together and speak His language spurs something up in me. Because, after all He is love, so love must flow from His language. Can you imagine what beauty could come out of respectful dialogue between people with completely different backgrounds and ideas? I can and have had the honor of being a part of some of these conversations and I get excited about what the future holds.
Before this morning I was feeling such anxiety and stress about everything going on and the anger and hurt people are feeling and how I see so few people dialoguing but rather shouting without listening. But now, I am thankful because the very thing that threatened to turn my stomach into knots is now an opportunity for me, as a follower of Christ to engage and extend His love. I have an opportunity to learn to speak even more clearly the language of God; the language of the One who Himself embodies love.