India has 867 languages and major dialects. On top of this are literally hundreds of minor dialects. Most kids in school are required to learn at least three different languages; English, Hindi, and the primary local language. As a result, conversations seem to always include words and expressions from at least three different sources. It is a wonderful medley of sounds, noises, and expressions.
There is one small dilemma. I may sense part of the conversation but rarely do I get it all! Simple questions have bizarre answers. Directions are often better let to the moment when a decision is needed. Choices should be affirmed and then reaffirmed before the final conclusion is reached. Asking questions, listening intently, and affirming the mutual understanding are very good techniques.
The dilemma is compounded when one assumes that one already knows the answer. The potential challenges multiple when one thinks he or she has grasped the situation. It is disastrous one arrogantly thinks that one's wisdom exceeds that of the audience.
I am not the first one to fall into this trap. Followers of Jesus idiotically assumed they had a firm grasp on the meaning and understanding of his presence. After all the words, experiences, and conversations, “when they were together for the last time they asked, 'Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?'” (Acts 1.6) They had totally missed the point.
Listening to Khasi, Manipuri, and Hindi as brought a fresh awareness of the joy and wonder that comes from really understanding what others have to say. Their stories are incredibly rich! Their histories are wonderful examples of how God walks with us. As I understand their perspectives and views I find myself richer for the experience.
Today is a fresh canvas that we will write new memories, experiences, and stories on. Everything is possible! Anything can and will happen. With the conversations at hand, I find myself sitting back, resting in God, and letting the wonder and joy of life unfold. I definitely need to do this more often.
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