The Lord encouraged me on a recent trip to Yangon Myanmar.
I was able to take a day to train Bible school students at a friend’s school. Staying at the school was a woman who was deaf and dumb. She could neither hear nor speak. She had somehow arrived with her newborn baby several months before my visit. Her heart was filled with bitterness but they took her in and loved her. My dear friends gave her tasks to do such as helping to cook, etc. Over the next few months, they saw her facial expressions change. She was finding peace through their compassion.
The day I met the woman (who was also called “Deaf and Dumb”), I saw her sitting with her child in the back of the room as I taught about evangelism. A large smile filled her face as she watched me dramatize the story of the woman at the well meeting Jesus in John 4.
Later that day, my friends heard someone “yelling and making strange sounds.” Thinking Deaf and Dumb was in trouble, they ran to her aid, only to find her dancing and trying to sing as best she could as she looked toward heaven. For the first time in her life, she was able to sing praises to God!
When trying to communicate with her, she mimicked some of the motions I used to illustrate the woman at the well. She copied the way I walked, moved, jumped, etc. ….somehow (through my lack of dignity), she found freedom in Christ! Glory to God!
When it comes to sharing about Christ, many people learn how to say “good words,” but make Jesus look sad, boring or bad. They are so stiff and “stuck on words” that there is little expression of the gospel. The scientific community has determined that only 7% of our communication comes from the words we use. Comparitively, a whopping 93% of our communication comes from the tone (inflection and enthusiasm of our voice) and body language! Education is never a mistake, however sharing “good news” has little to do with how smart you are. It has almost everything to do with your “heart.”
The gospel is a heart language. On the day of Pentecost, 3,000 people were added to the church because they “were cut to the heart.” (Acts 2:37) They were not cut to the head. Many of us try to play religious head games, but the Holy Spirit wants to minister to the heart! (It is hard to impress an omniscient, all-knowing God with how smart we think we are.)
Our hearts will bleed with what fills them. If filled with Jesus, we bleed Jesus. If we are filled with bitterness, unforgiveness or resentment, that is what comes out.
The good news of Jesus; His forgiveness, love and faithfulness are like a filter that removes all bitterness in our heart. Let Jesus in to your life; fill up your heart with Jesus and the most bitter memories become sweet victories through Christ. You cannot change the past, but Jesus can change your heart now.
My dear friends, Pastor Aye Min and his wife joked that they had “never seen a minister who could speak to the deaf and dumb before.” We were all very moved. God had used this woman to touch our hearts. She had not heard a single word I spoke, but while other “smart” students took copious notes, she reminded us how to worship and honor God with our heart.
Jason Betler is the founding evangelist of The Nations Hope, and an ordained minister of The Foursquare Church. A "dad joke" enthusiast, Jason and his wife Angelique reside with their three children in San Jose, California.
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