Stomach growling, I tentatively approached the front desk of my Beijing hotel. The Chinese part of my brain had been largely dormant since I left Asia over two years ago, and I hoped I could remember the words for what I wanted to say.
“Can ting zai na li?” The young woman at the front desk pointed in answer to my question, rattling off instructions. Following her direction, I was soon met by the smell of fried rice and steamed vegetables. My inquiry was successful and I had found what I was looking for – the dining hall.
Safe in the Subconscious
Immersed in the Mandarin-speaking world again on this short trip, words long buried in the recesses of my brain suddenly were on the tip of my tongue as I navigated the airport or checked in to a hotel. If I stopped to analyze what I was saying, I would get anxious and make mistakes. But if I just relaxed, the language I had learned and used in my years of living in Asia flowed naturally.
My 98-year-old grandmother can’t tell me what she had for breakfast an hour ago or what she did yesterday. Her speech has been affected by several strokes, and she often has trouble finding the right words to communicate. But when she prays at night before bed, the words flow easily, from several decades of communion with her Lord. Although she has daily physical pain and discomfort, Grandma’s prayers are full of gratitude. “Thank You, Lord, for all Your many blessings…”
What Is Your Heart Language?
What’s your heart language? What comes out when you’re distressed, anxious, or under pressure? Is your automatic response one of gratitude and praise to your Father? May you and I be in the habit of constant communication with our Lord, so that words of life, joy, and thanks pour out naturally from a full heart.
“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34 (NIV)