“I think God spoke to me in Spanish tonight!”
I have been going to the men’s group at our church for the past two months. It has been a great opportunity for me to stretch my Spanish as I don’t have my personal translator (i.e. Emily) with me and I have the opportunity to be immersed for two+ hours with men who are seeking to love God…and speak very little English. I have to rely solely on my own Spanish and the generosity and patience of my Mexican brothers.
It is a gloriously frustrating experience.
It is a glorious time to being able to sit at the same table as my Mexican brothers and hear how they seek to follow after Christ and what issues are on their hearts. They are burdened for their families, for their communities, and for their country. There are many similarities to issues facing men in our society but they are nuanced in the many differences that separate our American and Mexican cultures. Yet at the heart, we are all trying to seek God with our entire hearts, souls, minds, and strengths. It is always a glorious time together reading scripture, praying, and discussing about being men in Mexico.
And it is a frustrating time…not because of anything my Mexican brothers are doing or not doing…but simply because I still have so much to learn and because my Spanish is not yet at the level that I can freely share my thoughts (which I actually think is a good thing but that would be for another post I guess). I am at the place that I can understand more or less what is being said and track the major thread of the conversations but I still can’t yet participate in a way I would desire. I feel hopelessly inadequate to the task at hand and wonder why on earth God would lead me to a place like this.
It is gloriously frustrating.
And this past night God spoke directly to my heart through my Mexican brothers. We were discussing how to fight injustice in society and the role we as men need to take; starting by addressing the issues in our own lives. It was a heavy conversation…anyone who looks at the needs and injustices in Mexico can become easily overwhelmed…and easily frustrated at the task at hand…you didn’t need to know Spanish to see the weight on the men’s faces. Towards the end we were given five minutes of silence to sit before God and ask ourselves what we needed to do in our own lives.
There have been only a few times I have felt God speaking to me as clearly as if he was right there next to me…as if I could reach out and touch him…and this was one of them. “Be faithful” …God whispered in his quiet yet strong voice….”be faithful as I have been faithful to you.” I don’t know what these words mean to you, but to me they were exactly the words I needed to hear. “Be faithful.” God didn’t lead me here to Mexico be efficient, honored, respected, proficient, etc…but simply to be faithful to his calling to live a life of obedience to Him. He has been faithful to me in the past; I have confidence he will be faithful to me in future; and I need to rest in his faithfulness for the present.
…or for all you Norfolk Marine types…”Semper Fi!”