Sunday, November 08, 2009

Hearing Impaired

Today’s Reading: Mark 4:9 NIV

9 Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Good morning!

For years, I simply thought my husband wasn’t listening. I would say something to him, and, an hour later, he would have absolutely no idea what I was talking about. This became a huge issue, especially when we were trying to plan and coordinate our days. In the morning, if I talked about the after school schedule and we encountered some glitch in transportation or scheduling later in the day, it would set me on edge. I felt like I was talking to a brick wall and I wondered if he was choosing to ignore me. It wasn’t until we found ourselves at the doctor’s office reviewing hearing test results when we both realized that Jeff had suffered a profound hearing loss that had gone undetected for some time. I was very embarrassed for all my emotional outbursts and sorry I had not recognized the origin of the problem many years before.

My eighty-six year old mother has a great pair of hearing aids and she hates to wear them. She says that the sound is completely distorted, and that frustrates her to no end. She has been struggling to hear clearly for many years. Sometimes, I think it is easier for her not to have to listen than to try and hear the sounds around her. Quite often when I visit Mom on the weekends, she has her hearing aids off and the television volume up on blast. It is a good thing her neighbors are all deaf too. I can generally pick out the television program she is watching down the hall, before I even knock on her apartment door. Sometimes, she doesn’t even hear me knocking.

I wonder if the Father becomes frustrated when His children, who have been given ears to hear, choose not to listen. Our spiritual hearing loss is impacted when we hear but refuse to accept and follow God’s Word. People will listen to the Word for many different reasons. Some folks want to hear the Word preached in a way that makes them feel better about themselves – maybe even a little self-righteous. Others are looking for reasons to discredit the messenger. Yet, there are many who yearn to go deeper in their relationship with the Lord. Jesus spoke in words that could only be understood by those who were truly seeking Him. And there are some, who will not hear the author of life knocking at their door, even as He stands there, patiently waiting.

We do not always hear and understand God’s truth because we may not be fully ready for it. There have been many moments in my own life when I was either unwilling and/or unaware to hear and act on the message being given. I am especially thankful for my husband and mother, and for all the pastors, mentors and teachers in my life, who have never given up on me, especially when I was suffering from a profound spiritual hearing loss. None of us are exempt from the frustrations that come with a spiritual hearing deficit. We must learn to be patient with each another, knowing that the Father can and will reach us right where we are, at just the right moment in time. He will open our ears and melt our hearts so that we can obey His Word.

I will be sitting this morning in the hearing impaired section of the sanctuary. Come join me in worship today!

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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