Wantok

Bible   I have a few really close friends, women who know my heart and let me see theirs. These are the kind of friends who are open to the raw truth even when it isn’t pretty, and they are comfortable with tears, silliness, and even silence.

My closest girl friend is my sister. A lifetime of shared memories allows us to understand each other without explanation. There’s a term in Tok Pisin, the national language of Papua New Guinea, for this kind of relationship.

    Wantok. One who speaks my language.

These women are part of my “tribe”. We make sense to each other, heart and soul, no matter our backgrounds or nationalities. It’s not that we never have miscommunications; it’s just that there’s a level of intimacy there that is simple and unafraid.

Friends like this are precious. A cup of coffee, a walk, or an across-the-ocean Skype call with one of these gals makes the day seem a little brighter, the weight of the world a little easier to bear.

I think we’re made to crave this kind of relationship, this unveiled give and take of soul bare communication.

My Bible is laying open on the kitchen table. It’s worn and heavy and covered in quick-scrawled notes. Its fraying ribbon sits between filmy pages full of words that cut like a sword, that divide and destroy and heal and restore. Words that tell me I am seen and known and loved. That I have a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Those words flood over me like oxygen, like water, until I come up life soaked. The Speaker knows me, and I know Him.

Wantok. One who speaks my language.

I can read the words of my Creator in the language my heart speaks. The one I dream in, the one that feels like home.

    This.

This is the reason we are moving to Papua New Guinea.

Button   Because there are thousands and thousands of people there who have no idea that the Creator  speaks their languages, finds them important enough to talk to them in the words they feel and hope and dream in. They are being pursued by a God who wants unveiled intimacy with them, the kind that breaks down and builds back up new.

And we who are going and you who are sending get to be part of this uniting of the Lover and His Beloved.

And today the weight of that privilege is leaving me at a loss for words.

Good thing He knows my heart.

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