Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
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Please read I Corinthians chapter 9 (especially verses 19-23) in your Bible.
They say that math is the universal language. Do you remember that movie, "Contact?" Extra-terrestrials send a coded message to earth using math and from that message the people of earth are able to build this incredible machine that will transport people through space like never before. And all this from math!
Students will often come in the center and do some homework. Many of them are majoring in some computer field or engineering. I'll stop to chat and look at what they're working on. It's usually math. Everything boils down to math in science. It certainly doesn't seem like a universal language to me. I understand very little of it.
One day I was walking back from the library at Pitt to my office. A man stopped me and asked in French if I spoke French. "No," I said back to him in my best French accent. Then in German he asked if I spoke any German. "Nine," I said trying to sound like the Sgt. Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. Then he asked in Spanish if I spoke any Spanish. "Un poquito" I replied. That means "very little." I hope.
He asked for directions to the post office and I did my best to give them to him. I found out that he was from Argentina visiting his nephew. We continued to have this laborious conversation about our families and occupations. The language barrier made it difficult, but we both enjoyed getting a chance to practice a foreign language. Mine was Spanish. His was English.
Despite our language differences we were able to communicate because we spoke together the true universal language of love. (I'm not talking amore here.) We spoke together the language of kindness, compassion, acceptance, and tolerance. This is the language that Paul in I Corinthians is encouraging us to use when we share with the work, power, and love that God works in our lives.
Perhaps you might be thinking, "When I share? You mean if I share!" I know it may seem difficult because we think that we have to know the right words or be able to defend our flawed faith on every point. We may even think that we have to convince others that we are right and they are wrong. But that's not the case at all. All we need do is work into our everyday conversations the work that God is doing in our lives and speak in the universal language of love.