Foreign Language

I spent time today with a man who didn’t know any English.  I knew very little of his language.  We worked hard to find ways to communicate, but most of the time silence was more comfortable, and certainly easier.  But it was okay and was less awkward than trying to talk.

Prayer is sometimes that way for me.  During those times, it feels as if I have forgotten God’s language.  I close my eyes and I try to start sentences but the words seem senseless, empty and void.  Then I try out some Christian language.  You probably know the kind (and if you don’t, you are lucky).  But I still find no connection.  I say words of prayer for other people and even myself; but still no real connection with God.

It can take 10 minutes or more, if it even happens at all, before I realize once again that the unconditional lover of my soul is simply wanting to be with me.  I rest in the silence of his presence.  I think about his goodness, his compassion, his love in spite of my mistakes, the gifts he has given to me (wife and children and other relationships, job, home, etc.), and I recount the story of his pursuit of me (Jesus).  I realize I am laid bare with nothing to hide, yet I am not ashamed because I feel nothing but a father’s love.  None of this required words.  Then, and only then, can I speak his language.  The right words are there.  I speak fluently, and listen intensely.  The conversation could go on and on.

This is what I long for more than anything; to live in the presence of my Creator, conversing with him.  Nothing is more fulfilling.  Yet I struggle with it most days.

God, please break through to me daily.  I need you.


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