When God Reaches for the Backslider

Can God touch someone using a language the hearer has never learned?

The answer is yes! Yes, He can!

Language Barrier

On Sundays I attend an American church in the mornings and a Chinese home church in the afternoons. As a result I often listen to Chinese worship music along with my usual English praise songs. At work the other day I was listening to one of my Chinese worship albums. I kind of forgot I had it on because it was set to a very low volume, just loud enough so that the silence wouldn’t drive me crazy. One of my Hispanic co-workers came by my office for assistance with something. He was talking about work issues for a few minutes when he suddenly stopped and seemed to be listening really hard. He asked me to turn the music up. I increased the volume and the song playing was called 你釘痕的(Nǐ dīng hén de shǒu) which roughly translates to Your Nail-Scarred Hands. My co-worker listened pensively for a moment and said, “It’s really touching” and he asked me what language it was. I told him it was Chinese. He asked me what the song was about. I explained to him briefly that it was a Christian song and that it was about thinking of Jesus’ hands marked by the nails, His pain, how He heals our pain, and whatever pain we go through doesn’t compare to what He did for us. My co-worker’s eyes instantly filled with tears. He looked down and told me that he hasn’t been to church in 14 years. I told him it wasn’t too late to come back. He said that he didn’t think God would want him back. So I shared the story of the prodigal son with him and how the father rejoiced when his son came home and I told him that God loves him and is just waiting for him to come back. I invited him to come to my American church. I’m not sure if he’ll come because of the language barrier (he’s more comfortable with Spanish), but God has opened a door using a language this young man doesn’t even understand. It is clear that God is still reaching for this man and His Spirit transcends language and cultural barriers! Praise the Lord!


Thank you for your love and care for the lost sheep of this world. You are so worthy of our praise and adoration, Lord. Your enduring mercy continues to move me. Help me to be your hands and your feet and your mouth piece. I love you.

Rebekah L.


*Edit — Dear Readers, If you’re interested in hearing the song that was playing in my office when this conversation took place, I have posted it below. There are graphic images from The Passion of the Christ in this video so if that bothers you, you might not want to watch it. Be Blessed! In His Love, Rebekah L.

16 thoughts on “When God Reaches for the Backslider

  1. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful event. I am always amazed at how God can use the smallest things to start a conversation. I don’t know Chinese but that song is beautiful. I will pray that your co-worker will make it to Church.
    God Bless!

    • I’m starting to realize that God opens doors for us to share the gospel all the time, it’s just that sometimes we miss the opportunities. Other times, we recognize the open door but don’t dare to walk through it. It’s my prayer that God will open more doors for us to share Him to the world and that we will recognize them when He does. Thank you for praying for my co-worker! May God restore him to his rightful place in the body of Christ. God Bless you!

    • Amen. God’s language IS love. That’s why we are able to share Him even when there are language barriers. God’s language of love transcends all other obstacles! 🙂

  2. Inspiring and challenging story! It is amazing to me how something so simple like playing Christian music can be used by God to draw people to Himself. Anything we can do to include God in what we are doing is a way for us to testify to others that He is our Lord and Savior. What a wonderful witness you were to your coworker and how beautifully God was glorified!

    • Yeah, God can use anything to speak to people; he even used a donkey! lol. It’s so easy in this day and age to tell ourselves not to show any sign of our Christianity, especially at work, but it’s when we are bold for Christ that He is able to move among us and transform lives!

  3. What an inspiring story to encourage the rest of us to live our faith and love for God and look for every opportunity to share His love. I will be praying for this young man and those he comes in contact with to encourage his back to saving love of Christ.
    So glad you “liked” my post so I could find you and read this 😉

    • Hi Marc,
      I am not ABC, but my godparents are Taiwanese. Through them and other friends I have spent quite a bit of time around native Chinese speakers both from the Mainland and from Taiwan. I’d love to hear more about your China home church experience! If you feel like sharing any of it, I can be reached at Being.Rebekah.L@gmail.com. Thanks for stopping by our blog.

  4. Lovely story, Rebekah! It sounds like something absolutely extraordinary occurred that day. It is astonishing how enormous God’s desire for lost souls is. I still don’t understand it. But I know it is true. If you are inclined, please read about a friend of mine who was changed by such a God-encounter: http://thesanctifiedmuse.com/2012/10/25/new-creation/ God bless you.

    • It is indeed amazing to reflect on His love for us. He is a wonderful, merciful God. Thanks for stopping by our blog and leaving your link. I was incredibly encouraged by John’s story. God Bless you!

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