Sign Language

>> Thursday, August 9, 2012


I sat in Starbucks, watching a very unusual sight. Sitting at the bar by the window … with his back to me … was a young man … Skyping. Now that’s not all that uncommon … except for one thing. He was using sign language. I could see the screen on his computer … and the other person was signing right back. They were communicating in their own special way.

A very silent conversation … and one I could not understand.

And I’ve pondered … about a unique language I grew up with … in church. In my earlier years I listened to many conversations loaded with religious words that I understood because I had been trained in that vernacular. Words like:

            Atonement
            Blood of Christ
            Heresy
            Holiness
            Messiah
            New Covenant
            Pentecost
            Repentance
            Sanctification
            Spiritual Gifts
            Stumbling Block
           
But to someone on the outside of my religion this was an unknown language.

Now, as a Christ-follower, I try to speak in words that anyone can understand … simple words. My desire is for others to have a relationship with Jesus … and pious words are not needed for that to happen. Everyone understands words like: 

            Forgiveness
Love
            Sorry

Are you still using sign language?


“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Colossians 4:6 (NLT)


3 comments:

Joanne Sher August 9, 2012 at 12:33 PM  

Excellent thoughts, Joy. And a super analogy.

Joy Bach August 9, 2012 at 5:01 PM  

Thanks so much Joanne. I appreciate you so much.

doyoumeanwhatiknow August 23, 2012 at 5:50 PM  

Sometimes it's so difficult to use words everyone would know. Even those that use the same words often have different meanings for them. How can they hear if we speak a foreign language? It's too easy to slide into "church speak" even among young Christians who need to learn what those words mean. Angie:)

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