This is a sign that is posted on an eyeglasses shop near our school here in Daejeon, South Korea. The sign is both comical and meaningful to me. I have to laugh at the misspellings and the funny phrases but I also greatly appreciate the sincere attempt by the shop owner to convey to me, a "foreigner," his desire and commitment to serve me as a customer.
I love the phrase at the bottom of the sign, "But we can body language!"
I have lived here, "as a foreigner" in South Korea for nearly a year now and at times find that I am still very much a tourist rather than a resident--especially when it comes to communicating with the Korean people. I am ashamed to admit that at times in communication with the native Koreans I find myself speaking English "loudly," "slowly" and "clearly"--thinking that the increased volume and enhanced clarity will help them understand what I am saying. It doesn't work, so I resort to something that does work--body language.
I wonder if there is a message within all this for Christians and the Church as we live out our lives in this world. There is no greater message for humankind than the love, grace, mercy, hope and relationship found in Jesus Christ. How do we, as Christians, go about communicating this "Good News?"
How loudly and clearly and adamantly do we need to proclaim the "Truth" for it to be communicated? How many Ten Commandments signs in our front yards will it take? How many W.W.J.D. bracelets must we wear? What will it take for our "words" to be heard and understood? Maybe we need more "body language."
In the first chapter of the book of John we see the ultimate and most effective form of communication.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Now that's body language--God coming to earth in the flesh. Jesus is the "Word." He came to earth as the God-Man, to live, walk, talk, and communicate God's love to the world. In Jesus, we clearly find the message of forgiveness of sins through the cross and the hope of eternal life through the empty tomb.
Even though Jesus ascended to heaven, God is still communicating with the world--He is communicating through the Church-through you and me. God fills each believer with the Holy Spirit and Christ lives within each person that is following Him. "I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me."
We are to be Jesus to the world. Theologians call it, "incarnational living." We are to be the "body" of Christ--the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to those around us. In other words, we are to be the "body language" of Jesus to the world.
The "Word" of God--the Bible, is amazing. It is the bread of life to those who believe but to others it is like a foreign language. The world doesn't always understand the Bible passages that we expound upon or the verses that we recite--even though we speak them clearly, shout them loudly, and proclaim them adamantly. As we hold out the Word of life to others we need to remember that we must "flesh out" its meaning.
The world will read our "body language" long before they will read the Bible.