First Signs

October 28, 2003
by Mary Daniel

Judges 6:17 – And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. (KJV)

At 14 months, our granddaughter is learning in three languages, two of which have been spoken to her since birth. The third "language" is sign language, which her parents have been teaching her since she was about 6 or 7 months old.

Not that she is hearing impaired — she isn't — but someone in their wisdom realized that these little souls know what they want to tell us long before they are able to verbalize it, and signing affords them the ability to communicate, alleviating a great deal of frustration.

I admit to having been sceptical in the beginning, thinking it was another in the list of fads that comes with each new generation of child rearing. However, I saw her communicating to me that she wanted to eat, and what; wanted more or none; wanted me to dance with her; and that she saw a girl or a boy. She also named a number of different animals. Now I am not only a believer, but am practicing sign language as well. And although my "vocabulary" is very limited, I am eager to learn more.

Interestingly, her mother and I had taken a sign language course many years ago, but after she moved to university, having no-one to practice our signs with, we fell to the old adage of "Use it or lose it".

How similar this is to the way in which our spiritual lives may unfold.

Early on, we receive our religious introduction and instruction. Then sometimes, somewhere along the way, other things take precedence, and, not using it, we lose it — at least on the surface.

Getting back to God, or finding Him for the first time, can be kind of tricky too. We need to be careful that the path we choose is legitimate and not considered something of a fad. When we open our minds, our eyes, and our hearts, we see so many signs as His way of communicating through the wondrous works He performs in our everyday lives. Accepting and acknowledging this serves to strengthen the words "I believe".

Prayer: Guide us, Lord, we pray. Awaken us to the wonders and ways in which You communicate with us. Let us not be tempted to follow the next fad, but rather to "stay the course" with You. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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