Have you ever been in a conversation where you felt the person you’re talking with, in the same room, is disconnected? And have you heard the quotation by George Bernard Shaw, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language”? How is that possible?
When I worked with manufacturing engineers from England, we needed to discuss critical automotive processing. The words we used were mostly the same, but were occasionally different. We’d laugh at some of the differences, but would complete the project and meet our goals.
I was also employed by Toyota, making visits to Japan for large engineering projects, and I began learning some Japanese. I found that on both of these individual roads through life, I met people from other countries whose cultures were very different, although British engineers spoke close to the language I already knew.
It’s like if one person were in the medical field and the other in atomic engineering. They could understand each other conversationally, but not technically. Technically, it can appear as a very different language.
The same applies to those around us who are believers and those who are not. Do we have a greater level of patience or acceptance with those who are believers than with those who aren’t? Believers often use the same words, but have totally different meanings. If we say “The Word”, others hear “the word”. If believers say “faith”, our understanding is different than “faith” being used by non-believers. The Holy Spirit inside every believer makes connections we can’t describe.
The Language of the Holy Spirit
Twenty years ago, I experienced something astounding in Nagoya, Japan while I was traveling. One Sunday morning, I asked the hotel front desk attendant if there were a Christian church nearby. There was a small congregation 14 blocks from the hotel. I took Japanese trains to within three blocks, and walked the rest of the way. When I walked in, I was immediately surrounded by Christians of many backgrounds. They called me “Round Eye”, in an affectionate way. They hugged me, and KNEW I was a Christian. How? Try explaining that to non-believers. The church-goers who greeted me hardly knew any English. Yet, their smiles convinced me that the Holy Spirit in THEM recognized the Holy Spirit in ME. We were linked far better than any language. What a church celebration it was!
So no matter where your road takes you, no matter what circumstances await you, and no matter what barriers or obstacles are in your way, rely on the Lord to make the way. He’ll prepare hearts you will meet and your agenda for spiritual growth and testimony.
“Lord, You know where we need to be going. Guide us to the people You want us to meet in the way You want us to meet them. In Christ’s Name. Amen.”