Different Words but Same Truth

For someone who has always struggled with learning languages I am surprised at my love of words. Some words just feel nice on your tongue, the way the roll around your mouth or the way they are so descriptive. For example one of my favourite words in Chichewa is Chipaliwali which means lightning. Another favour expression is from my husbands mum – she didn’t speak much English but when Ramos misbehaved she called him Bratfool. We actually have adopted the saying now & whenever we have eaten too much at a meal we say we are Bratfool.

Langauge allows us different ways of saying the same thing. One person may say they are broke, the next his pockets are empty and another he is experiencing  a cash flow problem. I once worked as a cleaner in clinics and doctors surgeries only I wasn’t a cleaner – I was a Vacational Support Services Assistant – a much fancier title than the actual job.

This weekend I encountered two different ways of people describing the same truth from different eras and cultures.

In St Patrick’s Breastplate I read:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

In church we sang a new song by Tim Hughes:

God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping

God in my resting
There in my working
God in my thinking
God in my speaking

Be my everything
Be my everything
Be my everything

It amazed me that in different times and cultures the truth about God is still being expressed – different words, but the same truth. The Psalmist put the truth this way:

Psalms 139:1-6 GOD, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 2 I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. 4 You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. 5 I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too– your reassuring presence, coming and going. 6 This is too much, too wonderful– I can’t take it all in! (The Message)

How wonderful God is that he wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives and that we know that he is always with us. You can put it in different words to a different tune, but the truth about or amazing God remains the same.

2 Replies to “Different Words but Same Truth”

  1. I had not heard the “Be My Everything” chorus until I visited a new church last week, but I’m glad I learned it. It’s a perfect prayer for an integrated and sold-out life. 🙂

    Welcome to High Calling Blogs. I look forward to getting to see you around the network. I hope you’ll find it a warm, welcoming place like I have.

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