This weekend we visited my in-laws. The highlight for my boys was riding up and down the long country driveway in the tractor with Grandpa. The last time we visited my in-laws they were preparing for their farm sale, which heralded their retirement. This time the farm looked slightly more sterile. Most of the equipment is gone, a few old buildings have been knocked down and buried, while others were sold and carried off. Caleb, however, didn’t notice those things. He noticed the missing cattle.
Later, as we were eating our supper, Caleb leaned over to me and whispered, “Did you know Grandpa sold his aminals?” I confirmed that I did know that piece of trivia. Then he added, “It’s because he’s really tired.” It only took a heart beat or two for me to catch on to the fact that Caleb heard “really tired” when Grandpa had actually said he was “retired.” I love that.
I was thinking about the fact that we best understand things in the language that’s familiar to us. Caleb, who is trying not to nap anymore in the afternoons, but often collapses against his will, “gets” language related to being tired. Retirement, on the other hand, is foreign to him.
God speaks to each of us in our own language too. I believe He speaks to my brother, Jim, who has Down Syndrome, in a different language than He addresses me. I know He speaks to my husband differently too. Sometimes I ask Him to show Himself to me in my every day circumstances…to help me see illustrations of Him as I wash dishes, homeschool my kids, or work on a new writing project. I’m delighted when He reveals Himself in my language.
“When He speaks, it’s in the language of our own personal lives,
through a verse or passage of Scripture that just seems
to leap up off the page with our name on it.”
~Anne Graham Lotz
“I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness–secret riches.
I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, the on who calls you by name.”