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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Lost in Translation

I love small children! They get excited about everything and nothing! They run at full speed - always. They hug like there's no tomorrow. They laugh, jump, eat, sing and play - everyday - like it's the very first time they've ever done any of it. They explore every nook and cranny regardless of how dirty they'll get. They enjoy life with absolute abandon and they're beautiful even when they (and the entire bathroom) are covered in baby powder. And . . . they are hysterical when they open their mouths.
One of my favorite examples of "kid talk" is when I took my youngest daughter to the grocery store years ago and she spotted a box of Rice Krispies on the shelf (the "Snap, Crackle and Pop" guys). She yelled, "Mommy, look! It's Crack, Popple and Snot!" Close enough. Then there was the time in church when the rest of the worshipers were singing, "Our God Reigns!" my niece was heard singing - instead - "God's Got Brains!" That's what she heard and well . . . it IS true. When my sons were about 3 and 5 years old, their favorite song was "Joshua at the Battle of Cherry-Coke!" Jericho - Cherry Coke . . . it works. And who could forget the time at the Chinese Restaurant when another niece (I have many) asked for a second serving of "Crippled Clown". The dish was actually called "Triple Crown" . . . awesome grub - no clowns involved. And what about the time when my niece (Crippled Clown) sang - in church, "Pea-Size Gorillas!" . . . anyone? . . . . . "Peace like a River!" Oh man, good times!
Kids are just so funny and so well intentioned aren't they? The only problem is that their vocabulary and experience are somewhat limited. When they encounter a word or phrase they don't fully understand, they just throw a bit of kid interpretation on it, replace some words with other words that they're more familiar with and . . . Voila! And though the final outcome may not make sense to the adults listening in, they run with it anyway. Gotta love 'em.

I've noticed though, that even after most of us are all grown up, we have a tendency, still, to throw a little interpretation on things that God tells us. I think we do it for the same reasons that the kids do - limited vocabulary and experience - to fully grasp Divine intentions. Take for instance Jesus' command to us about forgiving one another:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me. Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you not seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)
It's easy to 'interpret' that this is just God's way of commanding us to "PLAY NICE!" In reality though, He knows that unforgiveness will harden our hearts and grow to become resentment and bitterness and anger and hatred. Unforgiveness - every time - will change us . . . and not for the better.

At other times God will ask us to "turn the other cheek" when we've been wronged.
"If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, give to him your tunic also." (Luke 6:29)
Most of the time we 'interpret' that God is just trying to 'keep the peace' or maybe limit the number of battles He'll have to referee. But there's more to it than that. God knows that in turning the other cheek, (NEVER an easy thing) we are forced to humble ourselves. Humility disarms the devil and his works. He is a creature fueled by pride. When we walk in humility,
he has no hold on us and we are able throw off the pride that is ever waiting to claim us. Jesus' humble life was untouchable by Satan.

Ultimately, it all leads to trusting God, trusting His word, trusting His love for us, trusting that what ever He says really needs no 'interpreting' or 'changing' by us. "Trust Me" simply means "Trust Me - though nothing makes sense right now. I love you and I know what I'm doing". Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians that:
"We walk by faith and not by sight."
I don't know the end of every story - He does. I have to trust that. I don't understand every timetable. He does. I don't know what is in another person's heart. He does. I don't know what incredible miracle He is working out in the life of another person, if I'll just obey and get out of His way. Maybe when I forgive, simply because He's asked me to; maybe when I don't defend myself and instead walk in humility - even when it's . . . humiliating; maybe when I just flat out choose to trust Him in the confusion; maybe when I compel myself to lift His praises loudly - above the roaring lies of the enemy; maybe when I just take Him at His word and do what He says and keep my 'interpretations' to myself, maybe then I'll play the part in the Body of Believers that I was created to play. Maybe I'll begin to see - even participate in - miracles all around me. Maybe I could begin to believe that He just says exactly what He means :)

"Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens - what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave - what can you know?" (Job 11:7-8)

Father, Thank You for your everlasting faithfulness as we learn Your ways. Thank You for your overwhelming love when we forget Your ways. Thank You for Your mercies that are new every morning - mercies that remind us that Your way is The Only Way.

In Him,

Visit Darnelle at her personal blog:
All Things Work Together

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Blogger Wendell said...

Oh, what a wonderful post. Thankyou for sharing!

December 2, 2007 at 1:50 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Darnelle, this was spot-on. Thank you! And those kids' versions were hilarious!

December 2, 2007 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

This was good, thank you.

December 2, 2007 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

Kids say the funniest things and I love your tie-in to our garbled understanding of God's words at times too.

December 2, 2007 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

I needed to read this TODAY!

Something in the whole area of forgiveness that just resonated through my own heart.

Blessings and thank you!

December 2, 2007 at 4:49 PM  
Blogger lori said...

Our pastor spoke today on forgiveness and then you post this....
"Maybe when I forgive, simply because He's asked me to; maybe when I don't defend myself and instead walk in humility - even when it's . . . humiliating; maybe when I just flat out choose to trust Him in the confusion; maybe when I compel myself to lift His praises loudly -"

wow! that got me...
literally got me with tears..that was just beautifully written..why are we so afraid to forgive...
letting go.
AND what a beautiful time to do that...'disarm Satan' and let that baby come in PEACE!!
Needless to say,
I loved it!

December 2, 2007 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Amen!! Enjoyed reading this reminder today.

December 3, 2007 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Lynn Donovan said...


Great post. Only He knows. Wonderful.

December 4, 2007 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Exactly what Lori said...:)

Great post Darnell...


December 5, 2007 at 10:30 PM  

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