Undisclosed Location, South Asia
July 11, 2010
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I have nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
It has been said that love is the universal language. Working in a place like India where it is hard to communicate can be frustrating. Trying to give directions or build relationships can seem next to impossible. There have been moments on this India trip where I have thought that I did not even want to try because it seemed too daunting. This morning, God reminded me that there really is a way to communicate without having to understand words.
1 Corinthians 13 has been called the love chapter and is often recited at weddings. It’s meaning runs deep and speaks of the power of love. You can do amazing things for God, speak many languages, teach, give everything away, even die for Him, but if you do it without love, then it is fruitless and meaningless. We have sacrificed a little to come to India, and if we do not have love, then, it is all for nothing.
I had a small victory today at Mother Teresa’s home for mentally challenged women. We have been sitting with the women, coloring, painting nails, or doing puzzles with them. Today I was able to get a handful of them to get into a circle, play a variation of duck-duck- goose, clapping rhythms and even sing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. That might not sound like much, but for me, that was a victory. I did all of this without a translator. With patience and persistence, love closed the language gap.
We have seen this all week long at the aftercare home. We have translators with us, and they are important, but most often, we are simply sitting or walking with a girl and speaking with smiles and affection. The girls at the aftercare home have never experienced this love language, and it has opened the doors to their hearts. They have been overwhelmed by our compassion, and they want to know why we would come so far and love them.
We have told them that we love because of Jesus, and because our love is so great, they also want to know Jesus. Seven more girls prayed to receive Christ today. It reminds me of the story of Ruth, which we shared with the girls on our second day. Ruth told Naomi, “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.” These girls do not have a family to give them a religion, and they now see us as their family. They have experienced our love and it communicates so deeply, that they want to know the same Jesus we know. They know that the gods from their childhood have not done anything good for them, and that there is no other god like Jesus.
We told them the story of Jesus healing the bleeding woman, and they could barely believe that He was powerful enough to do that, but also that He loved the bleeding woman enough to share His healing power with her. They have learned that He will do the same for them. He can heal their bodies, but also their hurting hearts, and no other god can do that. With Jesus as our God, it is not surprising that they too want have to have Him as theirs.