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    Reflection: Hearing only with the Ears?

    By Marylin Kilsby

    Two weeks ago, I was privileged to represent Open Ears at a conference run by Churchear, a European organisation similar to Open Ears. The conference theme, shown above, was:

    Girl listening with her hand on an earSo faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
    (Romans 10:17).

    Does this mean that if we don’t physically hear the Gospel, or don’t hear the preacher on a Sunday, or don’t hear the people in our House group, that we can’t be true Christians? Of course not! However much we may miss because of our deafness, God has many other ways of speaking to us.

    An introductory talk at the conference listed what the word “hearing” can mean. This includes the concepts of acceptance, understanding, taking in, thinking about. In some European languages, hearing can also mean inclusion.

    People at the conference came from nine different nations and, consequently, there were nine different first languages. Most of us had varying degrees of hearing losses and the rest were pastors or ministers with special responsibility for, or an interest in, deaf and hard of hearing people. However, even at mealtimes where there is so much background noise, and even though I was the only person there with English as my first language, I was relaxed and enjoyed the conversation and communication. This was because we were all deaf aware, not afraid to try communicating using gesture, spoken languages and providing extra clues as required. There was much laughter and a real sense of belonging. And inclusion.

    Oh yes, we were all “hearing” each other.

    So in what other ways, apart from physical hearing, can we hear the Lord? We can read His word, the Bible and Christian books. We can pray, or sing, or wait before Him. He can speak to us through His Creation, too. God sent His Holy Spirit so that we might hear Him. Deaf Christians can hear Him just as clearly as Christians with normal hearing.

    In a previous church, I used to get frustrated when I missed what was being said.

    Then I realised that I would always be able to hear whatever the Lord wanted me to hear and the frustration lifted.

    Jesus said:
    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27).

    Let us be encouraged and rest in that promise.

    View previous Reflection articles

    Dare to be Different
    The Lost Coin


    All the World’s a Stage?

    To Know and Be Known

    A New Year’s Revelation
    A New Year’s Reflection

    A Christmas Reflection
    Choices, Choices
    Intelligent Machines
    Life After Death
    Life’s Challenges Pt. 2
    The Shattered Glass
    Not Quite the Damascus Road
    A Home for the Lord
    The Chair

    The New Age of Martyrs

    A God of Second Chances
    Acceptance & Rejection
    New Lights
    New Things
    More Thoughts on Christmas
    Thoughts on Christmas

    The Vastness of Creation

    Unexpected Treasure

    Life’s Challenges
    Home is where the Heart is
    Beyond Fear to Exhiliarating Trust
    Sticks and Stones
    Beauty in the Chaos
    God and Creation
    Perfect Timing
    The Lord is near
    Having fun and taking new steps with our friends
    A friend who stands where we stand, and weeps with us
    Remain in Me

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