Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Clarify (10/15/15)
- TITLE: When Will I Ever Learn?
By Trudy Newell
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Last week I told Mike, my husband, about the events of my day. “Honey, you wouldn’t believe. Everything happened push-te-ser-e-ham.”
We weren’t in Babylon, but suddenly Mike gave me a strange look and shook his head. “What did you say? I’m lost.”
Oh no, I had done it again. I giggled playfully and said, “Oh, Mike, that was Farsi. It means ‘one thing right after another’, or ‘all at one time.’”
So much for clear communication.
It’s better than when we first got married. Mike would ask me a simple question and I would answer him in three, sometimes four, different languages. I would revert back to my Kenya days, before Mike. I tended to use the words that best fit the situation, like the rest of the missionaries there who had been in Iran,
I often tossed in Farsi, since it is so pour rang (full of color). I couldn’t resist using shaalug paalug for topsy-turvy or confused. Sometimes Swahili best fit the topic. I liked using taka taka for trash. It sounded dirtier, and trash in Kenya was pretty messy.
However, I can’t blame the fact I’m somewhat multi-lingual for my lack of clear communication. When I was in Bible college and worked for the post office, I had opportunities to share with my co-workers about the Lord. There were six of us from the college working the same shift. I was surprised when my classmate, Sandy, said, “Did you know that Debby pulled me aside and asked what you meant by needing to be born again? She said it was Greek to her. So I explained, and she is seriously thinking about trusting Christ as her Savior.” Talk about teamwork! I began to listen more, and memorized my testimony as I planned to share it. I now use simple words, short sentences, and adapt it to the individual situation.
I do better when writing than when speaking. I have time to think and edit my words. When I teach, notes are a necessity if I am to keep on target. I chat better than I communicate.
I should take lessons from my dog. He has no problem getting his message across and is not bother by the fact he can’t speak English. When Mike and I come in the driveway at noon, he dances in a circle and barks with his tail waving wildly around. He isn’t greeting us, he’s asking to come in for “love time” and his treats. He barks on and off while we eat lunch. After he is in for a while Mike says, “Bo, are you ready to go out?” He runs around in circles. Then Mike asks, “Front or back?” Bo heads either to the front door or the back.
When Mike goes somewhere alone he scratches Bo’s ears and says, “I’m going to be gone for a while. Take care of Trudy.”
Suddenly Bo doesn’t want me out of his sight. Does he understand what Mr. Mike says? If Mike is gone too long or it is evening his tail goes between his legs and he paces back and forth. No way will he take a snooze if I’m home alone. When Mike returns, Bo looks relieved. Mike gets out of the truck and goes over to scratch his ears, “Bo, you’re a good dog, and thanks for taking care of Trudy.”
Bo settles right down, and it seems his world has been set right once again.
I think Mike speaks “doggy” language. He is Bo’s buddy, and they sit together on the couch and have some kind of conversation. Bo loves me too, but it’s different. He likes to lick my legs while I scratch his ears. Bo and Mike clearly understand each other. I shake my head and think, It’s a sad day when my baby dog communicates with Mike better than I do.
Will I ever be a better communicator? I’m working on it. I have asked the Lord to help me to share His love and truth in such a way that lives are transformed by the power of His Word and the testimony of my life. I’ve asked the Lord to season my words with salt and to guard my lips. Every day my prayer is “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 14:19.
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