Today I manned a stand promoting my charity in the clinic bit of my hospital. I had a long conversation in Punjabi with an elderly Sikh gentleman. “What’s strange about that?” I hear you say…but although I may be Asian by ethnic origin, I don’t speak any community languages,not even the one my parents speak. I didn’t get in quick enough to inform him that I didn’t speak or understand Punjabi, so I figured that as up to 93% of communication is non-verbal, I’d listen intently, show interest, nod as appropriate and hope I made the correct facial expressions – partly by mirroring what he did. We had a lovely (long) conversation, but the only things I know is that he had a blood test, an X-ray, had some connection to West Bromwich and was Diabetic – all the words that were said in English!! I did offer him a sweet, in English, but he still then returned to say a bit more in Punjabi. 

At the end of the day, does it matter that I have no idea what he was saying, so long as I showed respect and demonstrated that I valued him enough to give him my full attention.

 

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 9:21-23 

To those not having the law I became like one not having the law

(though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law),

so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak,

to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all

possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel,

that I may share in its blessings.

I became Asian, to this Asian man, I showed him care and attention, and hopefully I showed this man, a glimpse of the love and value God has for him.