Do you speak many languages?
Probably most of us would say one, but, you know, I think we all know at least two languages. We all speak a second language that we may not realize and probably don’t use as much as we should.
The other language is a powerful language, a beautiful one; it is the language of a hug.
My wife recently returned from a trip to Russia. She went there with a very good friend (Linda) to work and serve in a mission, an outreach for street children. When she returned, I asked her about the language barrier. “We did not speak the same language, but there was one language the children spoke every time we were with them.” She said that upon arriving at the mission they wanted a hug, and upon their leaving, they wanted a hug. That was universal, regardless of size, shape and sex of the child; they know the language of hugs.
Today at church, I saw a young couple who went through some great difficulties in giving birth to their first child and now learning to care for their child with some special needs. I shared my second language with them; in fact, in doing so with the mother, both she and I tried to speak our native tongue, but it seemed “a lump and tears” got in our way. I could not speak my native language, but my second language said what my first language could not. Sometimes, our second language is more powerful than our first learned tongue.
I bet someone out there this week needs you to speak to them in a second language.
August 1, 2010