The Language of Love?

December 3, 2009

I was talking to a friend recently, who has moved to Dallas to attend seminary.  And, at one point in the conversation, we were discussing the admission requirements and our (underwhelming) undergraduate GPAs.

Mine, I explained, had been dragged down considerably by one thing – algebra.   I, of course, received only one B (that I can remember) within my major (Broadcast Journalism / Public Relations).  And I did quite well in english, history, philosophy and psychology.   But those were things that interested me.   I enjoyed them.  I had an aptitude for them – especially the comm. classes and english.  And, I spent time with them (now, don’t get the idea that I sat in my room night after night, studying,  and missed a whole lot, because I didn’t … in fact, I got phone calls and mail at our favorite pub – but, that’s a whole ‘nother post … anyhow, I digress … ).  Algebra, on the

Fractions! Aaaaaah!

other hand? I hated it.  Passionately (still do … and, in fact, the day Jack andCharlie come home with their schoolbooks and ask “Dad, if 18xy – 34y= 3/4 x, what is y?”, I think I may drive my car off a bridge).  It didn’t make sense to me (still doesn’t … and, by the way, after all these years, I can say that I

was right!  I’ve never needed it.  Ever.  And, before I drive my car off that bridge, I’m gonna tell Jack and Charlie that they’ll never need it, either).  I’m a right-brain thinker … I’m not wired that

NOT a picture of me.

way.  So, I had to expend alot of

extra energy.  Do alot of things I didn’t want to do.  Summer school.  Junior college classes.  Correspondence courses.

Tutors. It wasn’t pretty.  But, I did it.  I was desperate and I was after something.

Now, while some people say that math is the universal language, for the purposes of making my point (and there is one coming … eventually … at least in my mind) in a simpler way, let’s use another of the languages –  Spanish.

Learn Spanish in record time!

What would inspire you to learn Spanish? I can think of one really powerful incentive.  What if the woman you love, or your child, spoke only Spanish?  You’d learn it in record time.  Why? Because you’d be desperate to communicate with them.  You’d stay up late, working on conjugation, and adoring each word learned as a new way to express to them how much you loved them.  And, in being able to hear what it was they had to say to you, feel loved in return.  You’d learn the language because a relationship would be the reward.

As the conversation with my friend, and later, the book I’m finishing up, took my mind down this road, it convicted me.  Because, I would learn Spanish in record time.  I would be desperate.  I’ve been desperate enough to do alot of things, for alot of  things, over the years.  Desperate enough to work three jobs.  Desperate to save a marriage.  Desperate to save our home.  Desperate to find a job.

And, I remember how hard all those things were.  And how intensely I had to work.  And because I do remember, I can say that I haven’t worked nearly as hard or been nearly as desperate about the things that are infinitely more important than all of those others … my salvation … a real and intimate relationship with God … what kind of reflection I am of Him.

Do I read alot? Yes.  Do I study the Bible? Quite often.  Do I pray? Yes, daily – but not nearly enough.  Do I love the Lord? Of course I do.  But, do I do the things that are most difficult? That are against my nature? That I’m not wired to do? Things like giving generously? Forgiving? Sacrificing? Offering others grace and mercy? These things are the very language of God, man.  The language of love.

And, I  need to get desperate about learning them.  I need to do whatever it takes.

Because that’s the way He wants me to express to Him – and to others – how much I love Him.

Because I’m already loved in return.

And because … a saving relationship is the reward.

– – –

Sorry to ramble.  I edit and am edited enough at the office.  So, this is my opportunity to just let it fly, straight off the cuff.  Me, uncensored, if you will.  I guess my point was, in a nutshell, that my mind just isn’t wired in a mathematical way.  But, I was desperate enough to get algebra done, somehow.  And, that I’m also not wired to forgive and offer grace …. but, I gotta be desperate enough for God that I figure out a way to do it, anyway. Don’t I love Him as much as I loved my diploma?  Don’t I want to graduate in my faith, too?  Ya know?

Hope all’s well.  Something much shorter next time. Promise.




  1. Ah, but Jason, I too was a Journalism major and never dreamed I’d be working with computers, or teaching a report writing class! But that’s the door God opened.

    Funny tie in to the story, my last quarter at Ohio State I took a computer class. All I remembered was garbage in, garbage out. LOL. I also too a math class for non math majors. I learned about binary numbers and Hex, etc. NEVER dreamed I’d need to know some small thing about them on my job. But I did.

    God knew…

    I do love your site. I found you through Thomas Nelson’s Fiction marketing director, Jennifer Deshler.


  2. As a fellow right brainer, I hear you on the math stuff. My husband teaches math and how the X angle of a triangle engages him, I’ll never know.

    But, I wanted to conquer algebra, so I took it in college. Squeaked by. After graduation with a BA in Journalism, I went to work for a computer company (this is the mid ’80s) teaching propriety pagination software to newspaper editors. I eventually wound up working on the classified advertising system, and had to teach Report Writing in Informix to classified managers and system techs.

    NONE of us loved math. My opening line was, “Remember the math you hated in high school? Well, we’re going to use it here. Sets and sub sets, if then else clauses.”

    While I most many need the math or subject we loath or just don’t get, some might. Like me. I master the report writing class with the help of engineers. One report required 13 pages of coding to produce six lines if data! I was glad to have conquered that beast. 🙂

    God gifted me as I needed it. Shew! He’s good that way.

    Loved this blog, btw, it made me think back 20 years.


    • Thanks a bunch, Rachel … love that you loved it and hope you come back often … !
      As for the math …. I can do more addition, subtraction, percentages, fractions, multiplication, etc. in my HEAD than any one person would ever need. But, the algebra and formulas and …. ugh. And, all kids should be taught to do at LEAST that much. But, I maintain that, once you go off to college and determine that your path will require you to know those things, great! Learn them. But, there should be absolutely no reason for a broadcast journalist to have to take advanced algebra. Know what I mean? Am I glad I took it? Only because of the life lesson it taught me … and, maybe that’s the point. Never thought of it that way, but …. hmmm. Something to consider. That may be my next blog … 🙂

      Thanks again for stoppin’ by and reading. May I ask how you found me?

  3. You hit this nail on the head. My family has been studying the ways in which God shows His love for us, and how He wants us to show love to others (based on 1 Cor 13 and other passages). Then, in my own study, I came across James 1:22 (“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”) Pretty convicting!

    By the way, the answer to the algebra problem is “Not enough information,” although it’s possible to define y in terms of x. (My son is currently learning algebra, but when he gets to higher math, my husband will have to be his tutor.)

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