On the way home from the party, I stopped into the store for some groceries and ran into Bill Ward, the first time I've seen him in several years. Bill, who was our WCS music director when I came to Houston, is as talented as any person I know. He told me of his new career, working with three and four year old children in an early intervention program, aiming to keep them from joining the youngsters he met while in prison ministry outreach. There are folks who always remind you of the basic goodness and decency of the human race- Bill is definitely in that select category!
As usual this Sunday morning, I was in charge of communion during our Chinese language services. What was unusual was my translator. Over the ten years I've worked with my Asian brothers and sisters, a number of different interpreters have decoded my English thoughts into Mandarin. This morning, it was Harry. Let me tell you a little about this young man. Harry, a junior at Westbury Christian, was in my Gospels class last year and is our most knowledgeable NBA fan, specializing in Jeremy Lin statistics. He lives with one of our faculty families and he often is in our Sunday morning services. Today was his first attempt at translating in a worship setting. He was dressed appropriately, wearing a tie, which is a big plus in my book. Most of the Chinese speaking folks would have been comfortable without a translator but there were several whose English is not quite there yet so Harry provided a vital service. He did well. He didn't know how to translate extravagantly so I changed it to abundantly which still was a mystery so we settled on a lot which worked just fine. I can't imagine being seventeen and in a foreign land and interpreting the most sacred part of a worship service to those who might not understand its importance, let alone the language. Sometimes when I was a little boy, our family would sing Psalms 19:14 as we began the day around the breakfast table:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my rock, and my redeemer.
You know, this morning, the words of my mouth were re-routed through Harry's mouth. What a responsibility to tell others about Jesus while translating another's words into your own! I wish I was bilingual but I have enough problems with only English to deal with. Good job, Harry. I heard what you said but I didn't understand what you said. That's not important; I wasn't the audience. And I'm pretty sure the Lord understood you perfectly!
Applicable quote of the day:
"I’m trying to translate what my cat says and put it in a book, but how many homonyms are there for meow? ”
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org