Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love: the International Language

After living in France for just over two months, I have learned some French but by no means do I speak it well. We've been attending a home prayer group connected with our church here, and since I do not speak well, it feels like pulling teeth for me to attend sometimes. I don't understand everything, and sometimes nothing at all. I want so badly to connect with fellow Christians here (or just other people in general) that I force myself to go even on nights where I've biked home from an exhausting day of class only to eat dinner and head out again. I forced myself to go last night when I was tired even though I knew I would have to drag myself out of bed in the morning for early classes. Dark circles are starting to linger under my eyes on days like these. None-the-less, I long for connection with the Body.

So we went & spent some time chit-chatting. Basically, I listen and say, "Oui." or "Non." Then they began to ask some delicate questions aimed at spiritual growth. I was amazed that I understood this time. Finally, I was able to speak! It was my first time speaking in the group. Mind you it wasn't great French, but it was comprehensible and even followed by questions that indicated I relayed my point well. YAY! I felt like jumping up and down. Maybe I did internally, just a bit. *wink*

Then the true miracle of the the evening happened right in this completely routine other-cultural setting. Another member of the group shared her experience and requested prayer for growth (like the rest of us had). Only, I did not understand most of what she said. I felt lost trying to join in the conversation. Finally, the Spirit of God tugged at my heart and asked me to step out and minister in French. I felt like jerking my head around as if to say, "WHAT!??" I didn't of course (that would have been strange). I simply acknowledged the gentle prodding I felt so many times before in the States when the Lord has led me to share something. Times when He's stepped in and walked on my words to touch the hearts of those who needed it most. This was a time like that.

The only thing I understood was that this woman needed a friend to help her walk with Christ & that she was having some problems with her husband (though I have no idea what). She trembled as she spoke and I could tell this was a difficult thing for her. So again as I was nudged so gently by the most tender invisible hand, I spoke. I ministered to her completely in French (though I had no idea I could say these things and half wondered if I should speak in another tongue and allow the Spirit to take over - ok, if you're not into that, or used to that, stay with me -that's not what happened). So I spoke normal words in French when I was scared out of my wits. God spoke through me.

I told her, "Though I haven't understood everything you've said, I would like to tell you that you're not alone. God will raise up Christians to pray for you." Tears slipped down her cheeks and she quickly brushed them aside. I'm not sure it was anything I did. I simply spoke with conviction because I know that to be true. Just that morning, God woke me up from a dead sleep and called me to pray for a fellow Christian. So then I offered her a tissue and came to sit by her. Next, I did something so natural to me. I hugged her. I wondered if this was odd for the French culture, and then I dismissed that thought and said to myself that I was stepping into another realm. The realm of Love. Where God steps out and touches humanity through tangible hands like mine or yours. The hug was understood. The love was accepted at she wept in my arms with her shoulders heaving. Then the peace came.

She met with God through a new friend last night. And I fulfilled a part of my calling. I am called to "Be a missionary and to take care of His children," whether that be in the deepest parts of Africa or in the country of France. France, who's been slumbering, her people just beginning to awaken, is ready to embrace God's Love. His Love is here in me & in you all through the world. His Love reaches out through us in any language to melt away the stiffness of slumber or to awaken hearts with fire.

Thank You, Lord, for speaking through an ordinary girl like me. Sustain my new French friend and let Your Love continue to spread through the world. Amen.


  1. Your willingness to love makes me cry. You are a blessing to many, dear Laura!

  2. wow... that was such a wonderfully written description and I hung on every juicy word!! I love that story! God is indeed able to use us even when we are at our weakest... in fact I think sometimes that is when He works best, when He knows that all the glory will be His. Praying for you and sending the love over to all of you!!!!!

  3. Such a beautiful testimony. Reminds me yet again of why we are so grateful to the Lord that God placed you in Brent's life.

    As parents we make so many mistakes, but God somehow picks up the pieces and makes something beautiful out of all of it. I guess that means that when the pieces themselves are beautiful then God is glorified all the more. You are a treasure and we love you deeply.

    Dad B.

  4. God asked me to pray for a stranger on a subway the first time I went to Paris...aloud, in French. That was after about 3 months of language study. I am proud of you for being willing to listen to his prompting. I needed to hear this today.


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