I have been singing worship songs to Jesus in languages that I don’t speak for close to half of my life. Today, I am cozied into the back of a packed-out women’s conference in Hungary. We are singing a tune that I know, but I cannot voice the words to this particular ditty in today’s language nor in my mother language. I learned this song in Bulgarian years ago and that is the praise that my heart raises to the heavens today.
Hungarian words that were on a vocabulary lesson months ago flitter by and I try to grab them from the air and smash them into my mouth. My mind is spinning and whizzing.
And, it occurs to me that this wordlessness is a beautiful love offering, because sometimes we don’t have words.
The mother mourning the death of the life she carried.
The father watching new life stretch into his arms.
The silent caress of snow touching earth.
The wars that bleed us and break us and push us to the cliff of distinction.
We live in a world that demands answers – within societies that craft lies into pretty packages – for a generation desperate for something honest, even if it is raw and messy and gasping.
Let the Bride speak.
Let her kneel down and utter the lament in wordless tones that speak the syllables of freedom.
Sometimes, the Church is at our best when we simply pray and cry and give ourselves as a light in this present darkness.
The ancient words of Ruth resound in our night,
Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, will be my God.
Thank you, courageous Ruth. Maybe, you did not feel brave on that day. Certainly you did not know how your story would shape us. But, your leap of love challenges our walk today.
Jesus, teach us to enter into the mourning of your people, though they speak another language. Teach us to be a Church with arms that protect and embrace. Teach us to act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly.
Teach us to live out our sermon in ways that echo the melody of your love.
To be courageous when we do not feel brave.
Sing your love song in us, Kinsman Redeemer.