In Isaiah we are told that the blind will see, and the deaf will hear. When John was in prison, just before he was beheaded, he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if Jesus was the Messiah. John wanted to know for sure. John was concerned. John knew he was going to be killed. He had offered his life to God. Did John do the right thing? If we knew we were only days away from death would not we want to know we had made the right decision? Jesus sent John’s disciples back to John to tell him that the blind see and deaf hear. John would have known the prophecy of Isaiah and knew Jesus had answered with truth.
I have wondered if I had a disability would it be better to be blind or deaf? Neither a pleasant thought. I have concluded that it would be better to be blind. When you cannot see, I am told that the other senses become more acute and more sensitive. Your sense of hearing is sharper, your sense of touch more sensitive. But if you cannot hear, you do not necessarily know what is happening around except that which is directly in front of you. Loss of hearing as we age is common and we see it among many elderly in our community. People who lose their hearing do not realize the loss until other people explain to them that their hearing is fading. Often people want to deny it or feel ashamed.
Look how Jesus handled the deaf man. Jesus did not cure him in front of everyone but moved him from the others to a private place, preserving the man’s dignity. Ephphatha – be opened and Jesus touched his ears. The man could instantly hear. What Jesus did would have been a complete healing. As we grow up we learn to distinguish different sounds, different voices, and we learn how to ignore background noise. If the healing was not complete the man would be totally confused by the new sensation, but that is not recorded. Another miracle is that the man can now speak. The way we learn to speak is by what we hear. If you cannot hear, how can you speak. Again, it is total healing. The man can now speak.
It is depressing when a spouse begins to lose their hearing. The spouse who can hear often finds they are yelling at the person we love. In our upbringing we know being yelled at is a negative. The person yelling begins to get frustrated, yells louder, and it is difficult to maintain a loving tone when you are yelling. Just yell at someone and say I love you. It does not sound all that good. The person who cannot hears see the strain and the stress on their spouse’s face. They either become angry or confused. There are more arguments over the loss of hearing than any other one of our senses.
That is why the example of Jesus is so important. To move the person to a quiet place. Use another means of communicating. Writing notes for clarification for example. Calming yourself down and realizing that you are working with a disability that the other person cannot control. Finally, realize that God loves you in the same way we need to love one another. We all have disabilities, we are all sinners, but just like in the second reading, God shows no partiality. We are loved because God loves us. He comes into our lives and whispers Ephphatha – be opened. Be open to God’s love.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen