Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

Internet 101: Is this my pride talking?

Is social media fueling our pride?

I can’t get this question out of my head. Awareness is one thing, but shameless plugs about our good deeds is another.

What is our motive when sharing things online?

Proverbs 27:2 says:

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.”

Jesus said:

But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:3-4).

These are the verses that are influencing my thoughts on this subject.

It’s a toughie….

nothingerasedI grew up as a people pleaser who lived in the shadows, always pushing others into the light. I used to think that’s what it meant to be humble.

And then I came to understand true humility–and it had nothing to do with my misconstrued beliefs about self-worth.

My discomfort now has nothing to do with my self-image. It has everything to do with the question of necessity.

Does everyone need to know that I did this? (Whatever “this” may be)

I have given money, support, and time to plenty of things. Normally, though, I ask to not be included in any online shout outs. There are exceptions, of course, but I will opt out whenever possible.

This post is not my legalistic attempt at being perceived as holy either. (That voice is screaming in my ear right now.)

I want us to have a conversation about this topic. I want to navigate these murky waters with you.

And I can’t ask you to engage in a conversation with me if I can’t be honest first.

Drop me a comment with your thoughts.