Goedemorgen! Good morning! Buon giorno!
Speaking multiple languages is a blessing–most of the time. Sometimes it is confusing. I’ve Dutch, English, and Italian Bibles. Which one do I read today?
Italian, my third language, has become our daughter’s first. My husband and I speak Dutch most of the time. I write and read mostly in English.
As I shared in last week’s post, having to communicate in second or third languages can leave me insecure and frustrated. Often I feel like Moses. “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” But he [Moses] said, “ Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 14:12-13).
It’s even harder for my husband, Jan. God has blessed him with a creative mind and with visionary, planning, and building capabilities. However, linguistic abilities are not among his greatest talents. Yet God uses him in Italy to preach, teach, and counsel. His Italian isn’t perfect, but people are edified and encouraged by his messages. God’s messages.
Every now and then though, eyebrows raise and mouths fall agape.
“Now Jesus healed ten lepri. How many did come back to Him?”
I heard someone chuckle as Jan met eyes with the people in the room. “Only one! Out of ten lepri, only one returned and believed.”
A giggle. Another one. Suddenly, it dawned on me. Joy filled the place as we all burst into laughter and explained to Jan that the Italian word for lepers is lebbrosi. Lepri are hares.