One of the strangest realities I've thus far encountered is that of human behavior, and after, the language of which our behavior externalizes itself.
When I made the acquaintance of Jose, a Spanish guy who lives in Lugo, last night, the Spanish custom of a kiss on each cheek seemed all the more awkward than an American handshake. It wasn't the custom itself that was awkward but the fact that Jose wouldn't look at me. I think this behavior was a result of me being not only a complete stranger but a foreigner by definition. Mostly, though, I think it's because I am a girl, and he a teenage boy. I feel in a way the complexities of guy/girl friendships/relationships will plague me for the rest of my life because they are just that-- complex. As the night progressed, he made subtle glances my way, and by the end of the night, we were conversing together with only little bits of language barriers between us.
Because of this experience, something about language was uncovered to me. See, initially Jose and I had the large chasm of it separating us from any sense of familiarity--he didn't know that I could understand him, and well, I didn't talk much at first. And I realized that when first meeting someone of the opposite sex your own age, language becomes a clutch, a safe haven to guard against the awkward chemistry that surfaces. So naturally without that commonality, we would rather avoid relationship altogether. Until, that is, we realize that despite these differences in speaking, we have something much more tangible in common--humanity.
So here's to a kiss on each cheek, an acknowledgement to the Lord for the beauty of each distinct language, and a constant flow of thanksgiving to Him for keeping us connected to each other still. To Him be the glory, and may we speak truthfully the language of our soul.