Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)
By Eric Whitehead
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Around him, his friends were singing and worshipping, he felt left out, all he could do was watch. Back in England there would be no problem, but now he was in Thailand, part of church in the fellowship of Thai Christians. He had come to Thailand about three years ago to work, and lived with his wife’s family. In the region they lived there were no English speaking churches. He could now sympathise with his wife knowing how she must have felt when they had lived in England and all the worship was in English. His heart responded to the songs, he could feel his spirit moving, yet he understood nothing.
Other Europeans worshipped in the church. James looked at them now, they were having no problem understanding the language. They sang to the fullness of their being. “O Lord,” he quietly prayed, “please help me to be an expert like them to understand and speak Thai, so I can worship You today.” He waited, in faith, for an amazing miracle to happen. He had read about people being blessed with the ability to understand other languages, and he waited for the Lord to bless him.
People raised their arms, singing loudly, while he just hummed. Ears attuned, he waiting for sudden enlightenment. “Any second,” he thought, “I will understand all this.” He listened, but the language continued to make no sense to him. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t God’s will for him; not even for this service that he so desperately wanted to be a part of.
The music changed, he knew this song; his spirit soared! The lyrics, the music, were familiar, and, even though distracted by unrecognisable words, he could still hear the English version in his mind, and he sang. He imagined himself back home in his church, among the friends he knew. He sang as loud as he could; in his own language. He was so happy. With arms high, he praised God; his voice clashing with the Thai voices around him. A Thai woman turned towards him. She smiled widely, put her hand in his, and together they praised the Lord, each an expert in their own language.
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