Monday, April 28, 2008

The One about Canada and Chicken Restaurants

*This was written in early January of 2007 after a Christmas time trip to Canada to go skiing. By the way, Canada is awesome because they sell their milk in a bag!*

So we went to Canada for a family trip. I was eager to go despite having to fly to get there. In Canada they have lemmings, and mounties, and milk in a bag. All the things that make a great country. We flew up to Philadelphia and then on to Montreal. The interesting thing is that once we got to Montreal, everything was in French. I figured wow, I like French. I took it 7 years ago in high school. I should be able to hang and understand people at least a little...then I tried to order a combo meal at a local restaurant. I was all suave in approaching the counter. In French I asked for a "number 8, please". I was like this is cake. Little did I know that the combo 8 came with the option of soup or cole slaw. Since I had ordered in French the lady behind the register took no pity on me in asking me in French(speed French if you ask me) which i preferred. I stared at her like a monkey doing a math problem. She obviously understanding that I was a tourist that had been in her country less than an hour took pity on me and spoke English(very well i might add)...I don't know if I've ever felt like such an outsider in my life. The whole week I had to decide was I going to look stupid speaking English or look stupid speaking French. That's a humbling feeling. To know that there is so much that you want to say but you are limited by how much you know. You want to communicate but you can't. It's incredibly frustrating.

God is amazingly awesome. We know that. After my french encounter I began to think. The language of God and the language of man is so incredibly different. I can't even begin to describe how i'm different than God. I mean that whole thing about me being a sinner is a good start. God is a perfect being. Unbelievably huge and magnificent. He is perfect without a single flaw. He is the creator of the universe. I am a sinner. I am one measily little person on a small planet in a remote neighborhood in the universe that God has made.(He made it by speaking no less). I sometimes feel that I a foreigner to God. I try to talk to him, and I utter some phrases that I know in his language. Lord, I beeseech thee. Thou thine heareth myeth prayers-eth.(king james in not actually God's language but a lot of people think so!) I feel so helpless sometimes when I talk to God, as if God could ever understand little me. But i'm reminded as I look through the Bible that God finds ways to communicate with us. Through prayer, we can talk to God in any language and He hears us and can even speak to us in the quietness of our hearts. God has talked through a burning bush and even the jawbone of a donkey. You see when that girl at the register finally spoke English to me it was a relief. I could finally get my chicken sandwhich(with soup not slaw). I finally got the nourishment that I needed. Likewise, when we stop and listen and trust in God, He will speak to us in a way that we can understand. He will speak to us so that we may be nourished on his word.

*The chicken sandwich was delicious as well. This is one of my favorite stories. *



  1. I wonder how we might effectively bridge the language gap of the Bible itself. The text itself is so limited.

    Perhaps God can speak to us most effectively in our hearts, maybe through music or art, or even through a vibrant Spring flower. I suppose it matters more whether we are listening at all.. Perhaps that is the meaning of pray without ceasing.

    For me, making music is a unique and special part of such a communion. Musicians open their very souls and seek an audience with holiness greater than we are.

  2. I think that when it comes to bridging the language gap of the Bible you need to have a couple of components.

    Sticking with the bridge metaphor, you need someone to take you across first and teach you how to cross so that you can cross the bridge anytime you want in the future.

    Likewise, when it comes to learning the Bible and learning to read the Bible. A lot of times someone needs to be taught about the Bible. (history, how to read, how to interpret, etc.) That's one of the roles of ministerial staff. I love to teach kids about the Bible and bring it to a level that they can understand and grasp. I also love it when they learn and begin to explore on their own. (this doesn't even approach what God does through the spirit which helps more than anything else)

    As far as God speaking to us in separate ways, that's true. I'm a huge nature fan. Going to school in the mountains gave me a great appreciation of seeing God through His creation.

    That's a part of what this blog is. it's showing people that you can be reminded of God through almost anything.

    Thanks for posting.