It does not matter how fluent I am in Spanish, there always seems to be a point at which the words coming out of my mouth feel inadequate to describe what is happening in my heart. When I hit that linguistic wall, I know I need to revert to speaking my heart language. There are some things that are just better expressed in your native tongue. For me, the top two situations that require English are Praying and Expressing Love.
Probably because both love and prayer come from the deepest part of my heart, I have a hard time breaking my thoughts down into verb tenses and indirect object pronouns. Finding the right words is hard work, not the work of the “moment”. My mind refuses to violate my emotions by forcing them into an unnatural form, twisting and tangling the strings of the heart until they no longer play a pure tune. It’s like contaminating the deep well of sweet caring with the sweat of labor. Some things just need to be expressed in my heart language.
For some time now, I have had a desire to tell our best Costa Rican friends just how I feel about them. I want them to know just how much their friendship has meant to me. I want them to understand how special I think it is that they would take a risk and get close to a foreigner… especially knowing that we are missionaries who come and go every few years. It is a lot of work to be friends with someone who struggles to communicate in your language. I wonder if I would have the courage to be that kind of friend if the shoe were on the other foot.
I want to tell my friends that I love them so dearly, but I just can’t find the right words in Spanish. I want them to know that I see the risk they took, I appreciate the work it takes, and I am so very thankful for their patient love. Our friends have opened their lives and their homes and their hearts to us. They have shared their food and their family. They have given us more than they will ever know. They have, in many ways, gone against their own cultural current and opened doors for us that we could have never opened on our own. Their sacrifice does not escape me.
For a long, long time now, my friends have been silently precious to me. When I am with them, my heart pulses telepathically. I love you dear friend! I love you! I don’t know how, but I think they can hear my heart beat. I think they know that my heart is open to them. They can sense it, though I can’t express it. I love you with my heart language when my second language doesn’t feel like enough. And I look forward to the day we meet again in Heaven and we both will speak and understand the language of the heart.