what language do you speak?

I’m working off-line on an exciting new episode in the ‘Adventures of Little Carl‘ and didn’t get to posting much over the past few weeks.

It is a great story. Little Carl stumbles upon a tribe of monkeys in the not so little forest at the foot of the not so little hill. I’m having a lot of fun as I witness the world through his eyes and soon I’ll share it with you.

Today, however, was a crazy day.

I think I had more conversation in this one day’s waking hours than I’ve had all year.

I learn, discover, in conversation.

Perhaps that is why I love the wordpress-world of blogs where amongst many other things you can bump into people living in completely different worlds and have something which resembles a conversation.

Early this morning we met at the radio station. All of us. Everyone who is investing their heart and soul into creating & building & growing this thing we call Kingfisher FM.

We spoke about what we’re working at. About passion. About what motivates us. About why we’re doing this & what we’re aiming at.

We’re a young team in more ways than one. Touching on forty, I’m the old guy in the room. Clair, our program manager haven’t even spared a moment to think about what she’d want for her thirtieth birthday and Luthando, co-host on our breakfast show can still vividly remember what it was like to be at school.

Young and innovative.

The world a canvas to be filled with life – that’s our team and I love it.

No one has a problem with change.

No one is afraid of anything.

They’re open to new ideas.

Open to discover & map a path which would boldly take us where no one has gone before.

We’re open to making mistakes.

To learning.

To taking on ‘the man’ and making a difference.

I love spending time with them.



Hearing their hearts.


Seeing each one individualy and us collectively ‘becoming’.

I love it.

At about eleven we wrapped it up. I checked my mail. Paid a bill or two. Had some coffee.

Then I spent some time with Clair. we spoke about the future. Hers. The station’s. We spoke about ‘becoming’ what we always were, but could never see. About how this is not something which can be orchestrated. How it is organic. Something which just sort of happens when mysteriously everything is in place. We spoke about how sometimes we miss the opportunity to embrace freedom and about succession. And about our vision, our intention as a broadcaster.

As lunch-time approached I took a drive. Shared food & conversation with Zuko and our kids. Over left-over chicken from last night they showed me the houses they built & painted & decorated during the morning’s school and told me about their plans for the afternoon. Grooming the horses, fixing a fence, reading some Astrix & Obelix.

Back at the office it was time to meet with our DJ’s. Once a week we’re talking worldview. How we see ourselves & the world we live in. How we each make sense of the stuff happening around us and to us and because of us. We share ideas. Opinions. We challenge each other. Question each other.

This afternoon we started out by watching a debate between a Christian guy and an Agnostic. The one was trying to prove God’s existence, the other trying to disprove it.

Perhaps if I hadn’t had the morning & lunch in the company of people I love & often talk to, perhaps then I would not have noticed it.

Conversation comes easy with people you know.

We come from different worlds. Ours is not such an homogenous society as you may have found in Europe or America or Canada a decade ago.

And even though we’re mostly young, we’re not yet a generation untouched by the influence of constrictive and destructive political systems.

We’re finding our way.

Sometimes by ignoring or denying the realities of our own past and present.

Sometimes by creating a safe bubble of acceptance.

Sometimes by engaging each other.

Being honest and taking the time to listen.


But what I realised as I was watching this debate between the Christian and the Agnostic – other than that I mostly had more appreciation for the Agnostic’s approach and didn’t find the arguments for God’s existence very convincing – I realised that we’ve developed a vocabulary.

A language.

And perhaps in that we would even find a culture.

I’m Dutch.

Clair is English.

Gareth & Barry is more Scotish than English.

Luthando & Dee, their Xhosa.

Ningi is Zulu.

Zelda is Indian.

Allasandra & Natasha & Rae are also Afrikaans, but not in the same way as I am. They are brown and their worlds, their traditions are different.

And that is the tip of the diversity in our world and yet, amongst all of that diversity, perhaps even inside of it we’ve found a common language.

A way of talking to each other (mostly in english), but in such a way that we ‘get’ what is said.

The Agnostic, in his argument, was saying he wouldn’t want to ‘serve’ a George Orwellian Big Brother God who watches his every move & demands to be served religiously.

And I heard him.

His language.

His understanding of what he so often hears in religion.

That God is to be served.

That people are slaves to the Almighty, in his service for eternity.

And I expressed the view, in our discussion, that I do not serve God.

‘How can you say that?’

‘People will misunderstand you.’

I do not serve Zuko.

I make the bed.

The coffee.

I do the dishes & help with supper, although she’s the cullinary master.

I do not serve her.

We share life.

We spend time together.

We help each other.

And in the same way I share life with God, not serving Him, but doing stuff, because I want to, because I enjoy it and find meaning in it.

Stuff which may (or may not) be enjoyed by him.

I know Zuko loves that first cup of coffee I bring to our bedroom in the morning.

I know she enjoys my hands in the dishwater even more.

And in some other places even more than that.

But nothing of that is ‘serving’.

Nothing of it is demanded.

Nothing of it becomes conditions or stuff to be complied to, in order for our relationship to be.

It is love.

Life lovingly shared.

‘But that is what serving means’, they exclaim.

To you perhaps.

To us.

But to the convincing Agnostic guy it means bondage.

It means service in exchange for acceptance.

It means no freedom.

No independance.

No choice.

And so I don’t serve God.

And I will never again say that someone should serve God, having realised words get filled with different meaning for different people.

And if we want to share life, we should listen.

Hear the language.

Hear the meaning.

And forsake our own language.

Forget about it.

And start speaking the language of the people we care about.

The same is true of our children.

And our retired parents.

A new language.

Their language.

Then we’ll be able to ‘get’ each other.

And perhaps we’ll learn from each other.

And become more.

So what is your language?


If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my books available from Amazon’s Kindle-store.

Just click this link to take a look: Theunis Pienaar in Amzaon.


4 thoughts on “what language do you speak?

  1. I like it my love!!
    We miss out on so much, when we dont realise someone else is speaking a difirent ‘language’.
    Thank goodness for Pipsie who taught us!!

  2. Great blog!

    I love the sharing we have in our journey, even though our conversations happen only in our minds as we think the same thoughts.

    I think, no I know, sharing is the key word. I know God saturates reality and I am part of this reality, so God saturates me as well. Being saturated is the same as sharing. Sharing all of God’s nature – peace, love, joy, creational drive and if we are brave enough, God’s nature of death, brokenness and helplessness.

    So I concur, please do not serve God. God has no need that has to be satisfied by some form of service. God just wants to share …

  3. sigh.. I so so feel this one brotha.
    It is the balance between two extremes, my exhaustion over this in my life.
    To balance between,
    People who are so afraid they think God is stuck in one verse in Deuteronomy, hate cloaked in righteousness, sending missions to save when I could use a hug sometimes, right here, but they never see me, ever.
    the People who laugh with arrogant cynicism, crucifying all that is what they do not understand is all that matters, heart, spirituality, love, trust, faith, belief, integrity.
    They toss this as foolish silly notions created by systems and institutions, stomp on your hopes and cast out your hopes as “nonsense,” unproven, as if you are some kind of idiot to love God.

    I had to leave a church once for watching the people sway and sing “We are Not Worthy,” but my language flows to heaven in bad tune to great music, in my writing, with hot coffee in my hands, with art pencils and my girls on the floor.
    My language is..
    My own made up vocab, badly spoken Spanish, my playlists, my blogs, the lens I see beauty, the heartbeat that stops right when I see the essence of soul and then speeds at the best sound in the world, a shutter of a Canon taking a photograph.
    It is light, coming through the window, laughter and love with two sisters who make it all day without one fight, bedtime when I am alone with my God and work, and the grumblings of the early morning, fighting clothes and breakfast and bus stop time crunches.
    It is all of me, the good and bad, and lastly, it is in reaching out and being hugged by strangers, who strangely, are no stranger than family ought to be.

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