Monday, August 8, 2016

Hearing

Daily Gratitude Year 4- Day 219: Today, I am grateful for hearing.

Hearing is a sense that I take for granted every day. I cannot imagine my life without sound. I have never had to face a world of silence. Some live that way every day...and they do it with joy.

Now, there are sounds I could live without. Shrieking fire alarms being tested, high pitched screams of an injured or sick child and nails on a chalkboard. Still, two out of the three I have listed can indicate danger and the need for intervention or response. Nails on a chalkboard are just annoying.

I have often wondered if I had to give up vision or hearing, which would I choose? My hobbies are the arts. Photography, scrapbooking and card making require vision. Music fills my worship and is the source of much inspiration. I need to be able to read music and hear it. I love to sing. Then again, color makes my soul sing. I've never been able to decided which I would sacrifice, and I am doubly blessed to have both...at least for this day.

One of the things that fascinates me about the amazing people who live...and live well and joyfully... without one of these senses is that their other senses becomes sharpened. The deaf are acutely away of the visual world around them. Even their sense of smell can become a way of balancing the loss of sound in their world. Same for those without sight. Blind people develop sharpened hearing. They know who enters a room by their footstep and their fragrance. (Yes...we all smell like something and deodorant is a good thing).

Thinking about the gift of hearing, I am reminded that "being heard" makes us feel loved and valued. I am blessed by friends who listen and hope they find I reciprocate. Listening is an important part of a good relationship. Sometimes, listening in silence... with a compassionate embrace... says more than a mountain of word offerings. Sometimes, there are no words.

Job felt strengthened by the compassion of his friends until they started offering their thoughts and words on what God must be thinking and doing through Job's season of grief, loss and suffering. I have tried to remember those passages and learn from them. When hurt is deep and razor sharp... words can be more hurtful than helpful. We must be very careful.

Another wonder in this world of hearing...is that the Lord hears our prayers. Literally, he hears our prayers. Those we pray silently, but there is something special in a prayer offered out-loud and in community. Still, my favorite part of the day is the morning ritual of seeking his face. It is quiet and intimate.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. -Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

Apparently, David experienced it, too. It is a sweet spot in the day; it is the best part of some days.

Today, I am grateful for hearing and that God hears our prayers.

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