The salt water burned my eyes. If I was pulled to the depths one more time, I wouldn’t be coming back. Between the strong undertow and bikini top wrapped around my neck; I was surely about to die. Modesty out the window, I broke the surface for the last time and yelped “help!”
As an ADD-dyslexic myself, I have been known, on occasion, to misread, misinterpret, miscalculate, and generally miss, instructions, rules, and warnings. Call me a free spirit, I like that better anyway. When I was newly married, my parents were living in Caracas, Venezuela. My husband, Justin, my sister, Stacey, and I traveled to visit them. The Venezuelan men were big fans of my sister and me. Tall, buxom (me, not Stacey), tan, and blonde, Stacey and I commanded the attention of our host citizens. Men would holler at us or bow or kiss our hands, so enchanted with the flaxen haired Americans. One day, while swimming at a local beach, a Venezuelan lifeguard continually whistled and hollered at us. We tried to ignore him, but he just kept hollering. “Good grief?” we rolled our eyes, “Yes! We know! We are goddesses! Yes! OK! We get it!” Still he yelled in Spanish, “Peligro! Peligro! Peligro!”
Truthfully, I have barely grasped the English language, how could I have known “peligro” did not mean “beautiful American goddess?”
For the record, it does not mean that.
After two lifeguards pulled my near drowned, half naked, body from an undertow, where my young life had whizzed past my sea torched eyes, it was explained to me. “Peligro,” does in fact mean, “DANGER.” As in, “stupid blonde American woman you’re about to meet your maker!”
I think of this foolish story often. When dealing with my kids I try and remember this non-sense and remember it in an empathetic sense. Are they hearing me? Do they comprehend me? Are we even speaking the same language? To misunderstand, or to be misunderstood, is frustrating, and in some instances, life threatening. I wonder if God feels this way about me. Am I hearing Him and then ignoring Him? Am I misinterpreting Him? Or worse, am I only listening to what I want to hear? Today I am praying my ears are clear. I am praying for patience and clarity. I am praying for forgiveness for not even trying to pay attention… like some teenagers and toddlers I know. I don’t put up with it from them, why on earth would the Master of the Universe put up with that from me? And, as I pray for each of you, I ask that Jesus Christ will translate all that is foreign to you and lead you to peaceful knowledge.
Then He opened their minds so that they could understand. Luke 24:45