“Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power?”
— Acts 2. 7, 11
When we think of “speaking in tongues” we usually mean glossolalia, ecstatic speech that is unintelligible, even to the speaker. But on that day of Pentecost the disciples did the opposite: they spoke in common languages to make the unfathomable grace of God clear to foreigners who otherwise would not have understood them. Real speaking in tongues is not a private, emotional act. It means communicating “God’s deeds of power” in someone else’s language, in a way that they can understand.
You don’t need to lose yourself in ecstatic prayer, or even learn a foreign language to communicate God’s love. You may not have to put it into words at all: you can make evident what God has done in your life. Become increasingly aware of God’s presence in you, mindful of how God’s love flows through you, changes you, blesses you, and flows on to others. Let this be your consciousness. Let this gift shine in you. Become transparent to God’s grace. Radiate God’s love. Extend compassion, delight and blessing even to the strangest people. Don’t worry; they’ll get it.