July 11, 2022
For this people’s senses have become calloused, and they’ve become hard of hearing, and they’ve shut their eyes so that they won’t see with their eyes or hear with their ears or understand with their minds and change their hearts and lives that I may heal them . Matthew 13:15 CEB
I am hard of hearing and have been for at least the past 12 years. I was in denial for a time and believed that if people would just speak clearly, I would hear them just fine. My husband bore the brunt of informing me about my not listening well. I finally went to an audiologist, and the rest, including the hearing aids I now wear, is history.
But even with hearing aids, I don’t always get things straight. Last week was a perfect example. I was on my morning walk with Kiko, listening to a podcast broadcast via Bluetooth directly through my hearing aids. A neighborhood friend was walking in the opposite direction. As we passed, she told me this. “I saw 10 black bears, just around the bend. Watch out for poison ivy.”
I wasn’t sure what poison ivy had to do with black bear sightings, except perhaps that my friend tried to get a closer view of said bears. I cautiously walked around the bend but didn’t see anything resembling a bear. I did, however, decide it was in my best interest to turn around and go a different way.
Two days later, we passed at the same spot on the road. I quickly paused the podcast I was listening to so that could ask her about the bear sighting. She beat me to the punch, and said the following, “One of the blackberries is ripe and was delicious. I am checking every day so I can pick some. Watch out for the poison ivy!” I walked around the bend, and immediately saw the blackberries.
Black bears, or blackberries? For a person with a hearing deficit distracted by a podcast, it was impossible to distinguish the difference. I have the same challenge with seeing and hearing God. The soundtracks and movies that play in the background of my mind are so much a part of me that I have perceptual callouses.
Thanks, dear neighbor, for reminding me to listen. ~ Anne