Three energetic and engaging kids.

Looking at them interacting you’d never know they couldn’t understand each other.

We had the privilege of hosting a family from Portugal for a meal at our home. A great couple, they and their two children had been in the States for a little over a month, visiting with different people in a variety of cities before they head back home.

When they arrived at our home, they mentioned that neither their ten-year-old son or eight-year-old daughter could speak English.

As they spoke to their children, my minimal Spanish was of no help.

I couldn’t understand a word.

Eight-year-old Isley was with us. She has amazing people skills and makes friends with everyone. She introduced herself and took all of ten seconds to realize the two couldn’t understand a word she said. Especially at the speed she speaks.

There was, however, a commonality that the three of them grasped immediately.

Technology bridged communication barriers as if they didn’t exist.

I’m not talking about translating apps; no one messed with that.

Minecraft became the common language.

Isley downloaded the app on my computer. And they were off to the races.

Each was on a device. Sometimes they were on the same one. But for several hours they went back and forth, playing and building–or blowing up–things in the game. They’d drift apart, then come back together. A few words were exchanged and understood.

None of them acted like this was unusual. There was no awkwardness, like the iconic scene in movies where someone is introduced to a person from another culture, and the American speaks loudly and slowly.

A lack of language skills isn’t deafness.

I can get flustered if I’m not able to communicate well with someone. Not being understood is hard, often lonely. I’ve friends who’ve moved to America from other countries whose first language isn’t English. Trying to get a point across can be frustrating if their heart language isn’t the same as mine. I’ve been to other countries where I’ve tried a few phrases in a new language and feel awkward when I can’t say what I mean.

Communicating is essential for life. Words matter. If our voice is heard but the words aren’t understood, there is no communication.

Just noise.

Life often feels like that. We talk at each other, not with each other. I don’t always think through what I’m saying, and what comes out can be hurtful and unkind.

Voice and words as weapons rather than bridges of understanding.

Having a voice isn’t worth anything if no one can understand the truth of what’s being communicated.

People will confuse the issues. Words are said that don’t make sense in light of what is true.

The only One who speaks truth fully is God. It’s part of who He is–He says what He means and follows through with what He says He will do. The Bible is that truth. Not random phrases taken out of context. The whole truth.

There is no better language that connects with our needy hearts.

 

 

 

 

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