In a peculiar twist of fate, Église Évangélique de Perpignan, a church where je ne comprend pas anything that is spoken, has become my new home church. I can only make mild sense of this personal interest of mine. My entire stay in Perpignan has been compiled of wild fantasies of returning home where a mutual understanding exists between my neighbor and myself. That mutual understanding is speaking English.
Ah, but another mutual understanding exists in my world, the mutual understanding of knowing God. When I first introduced myself to Église Évangélique de Perpignan's pastor, Didier Santana, he asked if I knew God. He called me his sister in Christ, hence the feeling of an existing bond with a legitimate stranger.
Je suis Americain, while everyone else at this church is French. After learning survival French phrases to assist me in navigating this town, I cannot quite hold my own ears during a two-hour sermon. But even with such a huge language barrier, the Lord's message still comes through. I can still understand what these members of the congregation are doing. I can feel their emotions and love for God.
I was enthralled to have another emotional experience watching a wedding after the church service. Two members of the congregation joined their lives and hearts before God, while I could not understand one single word that was spoken. Again, even with no understanding of the language, the emotions still came through. As I crouched behind my camera while filming this wedding, tears streamed down my face. "Why am I doing this? I don't even know these people!" Although I have yet to meet this couple, their marriage still brought tears to my eyes through the power of emotional connection.
A smile is understood through all languages, and so is an emotional experience. Église Évangélique de Perpignan 's congregation members bonded with me that Sunday through a sense of understanding that only brings pleasure. Once my American feet are off French soil, I hope I face joys like these- joys that once disguised themselves as challenges.
The Cloth of the Sun by Su Kim
The Sculptor and his Wife by Mary Barczak
The Language Barrier by Jim Cameron
The Sixth Sense: Understanding by Christina Cocca
Bastille Day Bees by Annie Petersen
Reaching New Heights by Sarah Raghubir
Vive Perpignan by Chelsea Boone
The Changing Collioure Art Scene by Ariana Bacle
Having a Boule with Pétanque by Kristin O'Brien
Corridas in the 21st Century by Victoria King
Controversy Fermenting? by Marika Washchyshyn
A Different Culinary Landscape by Simon Arseneau