Home > Slice of Life

Becoming Fluent

By Melonie Cannon

Little Language Teachers
Little Language Teachers
This week my family is on a few days vacation with some friends visiting from Switzerland. Their two daughters are near the ages of my youngest two children. When they stand together, they could be siblings with their dark hair and wide eyes. There is one problem between them, my children do not speak Italian and their children do not speak English. “How will they talk to one another?” I thought. It has been interesting to watch them come together. At first, there were timid smiles and head-nodding acknowledgment. This changed to speaking at each other in their own language and hoping the other person understood. I watched them jump on our trampoline together. They pointed and acted out what game they wanted to play. Slowly, as they have spent more time together, they started to teach each other words. Yesterday, their 10-year old daughter hopped in the back of our car and sat next to my kids. They opened an Italian teaching app on the Ipad and talked and laughed and laughed. They wanted to meet in the language gap. The space filled with love and somehow, despite the barrier, they understood each other.

As I watched their interactions, I started thinking about the language obstacle I sometimes feel between the Lord and I. Some days I feel like I can hear His desires for me so clearly and sometimes weeks can pass where I do not feel like I am hearing the Spirit. Too many times the Lord has to speak to me in my language rather than me making the effort to learn His. Should it all be one-sided? Do I talk at Him instead of reaching to Him? Will I understand Him more when I become fluent in His tongue? Few of us on the earth have heard God’s voice directly into our ears, but He has left us a powerful testimony of His existence. There are messages all around us that are sent without speech. His voice is the voice of allegory and it began at the moment of Creation. This is when He spoke the word as Logos and the earth began.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.” – Psalm 19:1-5 (NIV) The Lord is in the sky, the stars, the planets, the trees, the plants, and even the smallest blade of grass. He is talking all around us. He proclaims silent truth through his symbols.

With these same “bilingual” children, I have been walking barefoot through the rich, brown sand that is scattered throughout southern Utah’s unique rock formations. It is like stepping into the palm of God. He cradles you in stillness and in that silence He demands to be heard. “Listen! Look around you! Feel the wind picking up the sand and moving it down through the canyons. Be the wind and be able to bend and move where I take you. See that smooth, crooked wood on the ground? That is you aging. Some would cast you aside for being dry and useless, but I will make you into a work of art or the fuel for fire. Sit for a moment by this small creek and watch the water. It once flooded the banks and fed all the small plants around it. Sometimes it is full beyond its boundaries and can care for others, sometimes it is small and timid, but it moves forward and finds its way home, just like you. Trust in the ebb and flow.”

God is never silent concerning His nature or the messages that He wants to give us. I desire to learn His sacred language. It begins with a smile and nod of acknowledgement. I then prattle on in my own language and then move to gestures. But this weekend, because of the example of young children wholeheartedly jumping into communicating with each other, I just learned God’s first vocabulary words.

About Melonie Cannon

Melonie has surrounded herself with beautiful words for as long as she can remember. This led her to find a home with Segullah after writing an essay published in the May 2006 Segullah issue. She was invited to join the staff and has been a part of Segullah in various capacities since, including being the creator of the “Words Fall In” podcast.  She received her M.Ed from the University of Utah and was a certified Secondary English teacher before becoming a Mom of four. Over the years, her focus has been on natural healing modalities and becoming a sacred sound healing practitioner with a focus on the drum, rhythm, voice, and vibration. She is finishing her PH.D. in theology and metaphysics to further these studies and help women to connect to the divine within themselves.

1 thought on “Becoming Fluent”

Leave a Comment