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In the documentary, “Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii”,  two pastors sat down to pray before translating the Bible into Hawaiian Pidgin.

Much mahalo for puttin your word to da people.” And they ended the prayer in this way: “Cuz we yo guys. Das it.”

They began to translate a passage from the Old Testament into Pidgin: “Yahweh stay huhu as why all kinds stuff happen inside Judea and Jerusalem.” In this text, “huhu” means angry.

Hearing the Bible translated into an idiom that sounds so casual, it took me a moment to digest it all. Then again, when the New International Version of the Bible came out, some people were appalled by its more modern language. Maybe we’re all just naturally resistant to change. A Catholic acquaintance once told me that she missed the days when mass was spoken in Latin.

There’s a version of the Bible in Hawaiian Pidgin on Bible Gateway, so I looked up John 3:16. The King James version reads: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The Hawaiian Pidgin version reads: God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva.

No matter how you say it, prayer always gets through.

Sometimes I don’t even know what to ask for when I pray. I just know I need help, right now.

That’s when I whip out my secret weapon. My one-word, all-encompassing prayer that says it all when I really don’t know what to say.

Grace.

It covers everything, it’s free to one and all, and it meets you right where you are.

By the way, the Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings: hello, good-bye, alas, farewell, compassion, mercy, charity and also… grace.

And the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel answered, Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.

Samuel grew; the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.

1 Samuel 3:10 and 3:19 AMP

A man wrote in, asking Dear Abby for her opinion. Should he go on a family cruise without his girlfriend, who can’t come along?

“You and Caitlyn are adults in your 40s… you should be mature enough to discuss this with her without involving me.”

Oh, snap! Somebody’s got a bee in her bonnet.

Another letter writer, a plus-sized woman, asked Abby’s opinion about wearing a bikini at her mother’s house.

“While you say you are comfortable in your own skin, it would be interesting to know what your physician thinks of your obesity. I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem.”

Hey now! Little tact wouldn’t hurt here, Miss Bossypants.

The thing I’ve always admired about Dear Abby is her compassion and common sense. But lately, it almost seems to me that someone else has taken over for the real Dear Abby.  Perhaps her cousin, Dear Crabby.

This version of Abby is judgmental and carping. She’s been terse and snappish lately, and I’ve never noticed that in her columns before.

But then, I suppose as human beings, we go through phases.  Different versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we present our best self to the world.  At other times, not so much.

I’m so glad God isn’t like us in this regard. He never changes with the times or waffles in the wind.  If I’m going to seek counsel anywhere, it’s going to be deep in the heart of scripture. It’s on my knees in prayer.

In the meantime, when dealing with nosy people giving you bad advice in a mean-spirited way, all you need to do is remember that you are completely – and eternally – loved.

And as for Dear Abby? Well, maybe it’s time for her to retire to Boca.

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