In the cool outside this morning, uneven strings of pink and grey cloud are strewn low across the horizon. And the birds—a flock just flew by, a string of black vees against the other-worldly colors—O God, thank You for the birds! Amidst all the singing, a mockingbird stands out, delighting from its high perch, imitating those of other species in their voices. Twitters, then chirps, then trills, rhythms, then rolled rrrrs, tweets, cheery chrrr-eeeps. Ah, Lord, this creature surely proclaims your glory– as Hillsong sings, ‘then so will I.’
Paul did what it took to identify with and communicate to others, “becoming all things to all people, that by all means some might be saved…for the sake of the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23) What prejudices, preconceptions, fears might I need to lay aside in order to relate to others not like me? What words do I need to learn in order to speak a culturally foreign language? What initiative do I need to take, interest can I show, questions can I ask, eye contact can I use, love can I expend, to convince others they are important and have inestimable value?
“They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…telling men from every nation in [their] own tongues the mighty works of God.” “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Acts 2:4-5,11; Romans 8:26, Hebrews 4:16
Father, teach me to be a mocking bird, to listen well and learn to speak in others’ languages, to ‘become all things to all people’ that they might hear my melody, take notice of You, and rejoice.