I have made so many new friends in the last three weeks. Most of them do not speak English and I don't speak Spanish. I have been making slow progress in learning Korean but I have avoided Spanish like the plague, because of the terrifyingly difficult "r" sound and my perception of the speed with which Speakers of Spanish speak Spanish. :-) Then I began to realize, all native speakers of any language sound to an unlearned ear as if they were seasoned auctioneers at a national competition...:-) Has anyone heard native Korean speakers in the midst of a happy heartfelt conversation?...well then you know where of I speak. :-)
However, since we are living at this hotel, (going on four weeks now. .:-)..) while repairs are being completed on the home we bought, I get to see the same housekeeping and front desk staff each day. They are so pleasant and work so hard and have done so much to make this, longer than expected, stay pleasant for my family. I wanted to be able to communicate with more than smiles and waves and nods and dollars left on nightstands, with notes thanking them for the clean rooms. They are in this foreign country trying to improve their lives and they must overcome so many obstacles and deal with so many unknowns. I want them to know that I care enough to try to speak to them in the language with which they are most comfortable. I want them to know that their native language is worth my time and effort to learn, because it means I can know them better and be a friend if they need one. They may even need a friend who is fluent in English. :-) I forget sometimes that I am fluent in English. :-)
One of the ladies that cleans our rooms, Sonia, has been the most help in my Spanish pronunciation instruction. When I gave Sonia her "thank you dollars" for the beautiful room service yesterday and read her my Spanish thank you note, she smiled so sweetly and tears filled her eyes. She wanted me to know she had just heard that her father in Mexico had passed away today. She had gone home to see him while he was in the hospital a few days ago. She felt like staying home and just crying but decided working would give her hands something to do, and so she cleaned our rooms as if she was giving him a gift. Selah
I put my arms around her and prayed in two broken languages for God to comfort her heart. That is one of the main things Jesus will do.....he will bind up the broken-hearted. Isaiah 61:1 I don't believe Sonia would have tried to explain about her father's passing away if she hadn't believed it would matter to me, because she mattered to me.
I found this verse today. It was written by George Matheson.
O Joy That Seekest Me Through Pain,
I Cannot Close My Heart To Thee;
I Trace The Rainbow Through The Rain,
And Feel The Promise Is Not Vain,
That Morn Shall Tearless Be.