In order for communication to occur, you need someone watching who also knows the language. – When God is Silent: Divine Language Beyond Words by Barbara Brown Taylor.
In the midst of all misunderstanding, ignorance, anxieties, and fears surrounding the COVID19 shots, I had been reflecting on this quote above from Barbara Brown Taylor. We might be speaking English, but truly most of us do not know what the other is saying. Our own biases play a deep role in deciding what we hear and even what the other is saying. We need to understand the nuance of each person’s words to understand what he or she is talking about. If that is not possible, then it is better for us to be silent. It is better for us to listen, and wonder. 99% of failures of marriages, relationships, and churches fail because of this very thing. We do not understand each other’s language, we only understand words, not the nuance, the emotions, the feelings, and past experience of the speaker. So, here is my suggestion.
When someone speaks, even if you know full well what he or she is talking about, wait! Just wait! Listen with your heart, no matter what the subject is. Listen simply and silently, and use a few words to let the person know you are trying to understand all of that the other is saying. Do not jump into believing, which would be a colossal mistake, that you know exactly what the other is saying. Because you or I don’t! Trust me. We don’t understand the other even when we understand them partially.
According to Barbara Brown Taylor, “most people speak of God as if it is made out of steel instead of air!” Think a minute of this sentence talking about just one word, “God”, and then let us apply the same principle to the rest of what we talk, hear, and get upset about! Words are made of air and not steel! She couldn’t have said it better.
God of mercy…..