2 Corinthians 13:14 The Message (MSG)
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.
A Word of Hope
Last week I had one of those days when my soul felt a bit sluggish. And as I was driving – or attempting to with all the construction projects blocking my progress – I knew that to hear something uplifting and encouraging would jump start me; sort of an espresso shot for my spirit. And for the first time in about twenty years, I decided to tiptoe into some Christian radio on the off chance I’d hear something I needed.
Twenty minutes and four stations later, I can tell you that seldom was heard an encouraging word. One station seemed like Breitbart with a thin religious veneer. Station two gave me a veritable checklist to determine who was going to hell and why. For a combo of the first two, station three railed against abortion, homosexuality, and the liberal media because…Jesus? I don’t know.
The only saving graces in an otherwise futile venture were listening to Lauren Daigle, whose Adele-ish voice and Jesus-y hippie vibe work for me, and a great song by another artist with a refrain that grabbed me: “Love is the language, love is your native tongue.”*
Love is our nativie tongue. We are fluent in Love.
But we rarely use it in our everyday conversations. As we move through life, we inevitably master the predominant language in our culture, Fear. We communicate in Fear so regularly that we speak a number of its different dialects: control, greed, opportunism, shame, jealousy, anger, and retribution. We use it so often that Fear becomes the default language in which we speak to ourselves, use in our prayers, and hear in our dreams.
Like all languages, Love and Fear have words and phrases which are not found in the other, and they are difficult to translate. The language of Love contains words and concepts for contentment, dignity, enough, unconditional, complete. Fear: scarcity, superiority, derision, competition, manipulation, and all of the -isms (classism, ageism, heterosexism, racism, to name a few).
Jesus spoke only Love. God is Love. And as children of God and followers of Christ, returning to our native language puts us in tune with Christ and aligns our Souls with the Spirit of God.
We do not need another language for our faith or to be the people we wish to be in this world. That language already exists within us and is the one that feels most authentic.
We use it, but for most of us, only periodically.
Let us consistently reintroduce truth, mercy, gratitude, kindness, patience, and justice into the cultural conversation.
May we choose to communicate in Love with such fluency and frequency that it becomes the only language we speak.
To others. To God. And to ourselves.
“So sing it out, get loud, get
Louder than the darkness and the doubts,
Louder than the curses and the shouts,
Your lips, your lungs, your native tongue.”*
And so it is. Amen.
[Switchfoot, Native Tongue]