Language



I was waiting for a train ride from New York back to where I'm staying, and an older woman asked me in Mandarin Chinese how to get to Princeton. She had a very heavy accent, and I thought she might be Cantonese Chinese, so I asked if she would be more comfortable with Cantonese Chinese. It turns out that Granny is from Nepal, and she knows limited Mandarin, and essentially no English. It was really hard getting her to understand that she will be boarding the same train as me, and when she finally understood, she clung onto me like a lifeline. I had to get off at the 2nd stop, whereas she had to wait for the 13th. It took a while for me to get her to stay on the train, but she was already so relieved and grateful to have had someone help her get onto the right train. I don't know whatever happened to Granny, but it just made me think about how hard it is to get around the States with a language barrier.

I don't think my mind can ever really truly wrap around how incredible it is that some people come to the States with a handful of English phrases, and make it through life here. My parents were like that. I can remember how my mother would struggle with understanding my teachers and how to go about life with just key phrases such as "thank you", "sorry", "please", "car", "cat", etc. It amazes me that my family has made it thus far, and it kills me a little on the inside that there are so many others who face such a struggle. I have the luxury of being bilingual, and what does it mean if I don't use my language ability to help others?

As a flight attendant, I see some crazy things. I see other flight attendants deny customers of second language help because they are not being paid to use their second language. It frustrates me, because I would not want my family being denied a break from struggling with English, simply because someone felt that their second language is worth more than common courtesy. It just reminded me of the verse:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal." - 1 Corinthians 13:1

It doesn't matter if you can speak a second, third, or even fourth language. What does it matter if you do not speak with intention to help someone who cannot understand English? Your words end up meaning nothing to them, because they cannot understand.

In reflection, isn't it the same with the Gospel? So many of us "know" we are saved by grace, and it isn't of ourselves that we are able to have a relationship with God. When we are asked to intercede, to pray, and to share, we halfheartedly mumble and murmur things we want to happen and conclude with an "Amen". If we have truly been saved by the Gospel message, then shouldn't it mean more to us? Shouldn't it move us to love shamelessly and desperately? Shouldn't we want others to come to Christ? Instead, we are tallying up how many people we have witnessed to, and chalking it up as our success. How can we expect someone to understand love if we do not speak and act with love that they can understand? If you know the power of prayer, how can you not pray for someone? If you understand that the Gospel message saves lives, how can you not share?

I want to go back to that fire, that desperation, and that passion for sharing. I want to let others have a taste of the love that God has given me, and I am so selfishly receiving and asking for more of. I want to go back to that child-like faith that is unafraid of being judged and rejected. I have been so blessed by many of my Uber drivers, because a lot of them actually share the Gospel as they give people rides. One kind sir has pamphlets printed out that highlights the main points of Christianity and the Gospel, and invites people to join the church he is serving at. I find that so encouraging, and though I don't encourage people to explicitly advertising their political/religious affiliation in the workplace, it is still a blessing that someone has so much heart and intention to share His Message.

What is something that has encouraged you, or made you think today? Leave a message below~

Have a beautiful and blessed day!

<3 Sharon