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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:
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.
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
Life After Death
Life’s Challenges Pt. 2
The Shattered Glass
Not Quite the Damascus Road
A Home for the Lord
The New Age of Martyrs
A God of Second Chances
Acceptance & Rejection
More Thoughts on Christmas
Thoughts on Christmas
The Vastness of Creation
Home is where the Heart is
Beyond Fear to Exhiliarating Trust
Sticks and Stones
Beauty in the Chaos
God and Creation
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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