I was realizing last week that most of my frustrations with Spanish stem from the inability to express myself with a pinch of “Anne” on top. Not knowing what to say is different than not knowing how to say it—it feels as though my personality got stuffed into my luggage on the plane to Peru and now it’s only visible when I’m interacting in my heart-language. Humor is out the window to dry, and hanging on the clothesline on the roof with it are sarcasm and wit. Encouraging words are still in my suitcase, while I hope that with a dictionary in hand I can pull them out sometime soon. But it’s tough to feel useful on the “mission field” when your primary love language is spoken and you’ve got a noose on your tongue.
So anyway, one morning last week I was sitting on the couch, complaining to God about this problem when He answered with some well known words of St. Francis of Assisi: “Share the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.” The response kind of put me to shame while challenging me—God gave me several communicative organs besides my tongue, and some appendages too, and it’s about time I put them to work. This little message arrived just in time for our trip to San Clemente.