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The Language of Grief
Photo: Nicolay Mamluke
It was one of the few times in my life that I’ve felt like I was part of a minority. I was attending the funeral of a Hispanic boy in which the sermon, prayer, and music were presented in Spanish. I carefully watched the faces of those presenting and listened carefully to their voice tones, trying to make sense of their language.

Part way through the service, my careful listening was interrupted by a different language—the sounds of crying, sniffling, and quiet moaning. It was the language of grief. I personally knew these sounds all too well. I’ve made them myself.

I realized at that moment that even though I couldn’t understand their particular language, grief sounds the same the world over. From the United States to Uganda. From Bangladesh to Brazil. From Finland to Fiji. We all share the same language of the heart.

We Have the Same Father

So this is what I’m thinking: If we grieve the same for those we’ve lost, we must love the same. And if we love the same, we must be children of the same loving Father—brothers and sister regardless of language, skin color, dress, or customs. And since we have the same Father, someday He will be taking all His children home.

Seeing a vision of that day, the apostle John wrote in Revelation 7:9, “I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne….”

The world may try to separate us by nationalities, but in God’s kingdom “You are all sons of God through Jesus Christ…There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).

In Heaven, we’ll all speak the same language. It will be the language of love and unity. We might as well start speaking it now.

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