Have ears but fail to hear.


Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?

Mark 8:18 NIV

I have ears, but unless I use my hearing aids, I have a hard time hearing. Sunday, due to equipment failure, I was without my hearing aids. I was afraid I’d mishear something important and recalled an occasion over a decade ago. I was getting used to wearing hearing aids and had decided I didn’t need them to participate the early morning yoga class I attended twice a week. After class I ran into the local CVS and bumped into a parishioner.  “Good morning. How are you?” I asked. The response I heard was “I’m constipated.”

My mind went through several responses, including directing her to the aisle that held laxatives. Fortunately, my counseling skills kicked in and to buy time I replied, “Tell me more.” She went on to tell me about the serious back problem she was having. I realized what she had really said was, “I am in constant pain.”  I began to wear my hearing aids to class.

But there is another kind of failure to see and hear that isn’t associated with how good our eyes and ears are. It is seeing and hearing without comprehending, taking in data without making meaningful connections. It is like seeing a Monarch butterfly as just another insect on a branch rather than the precious sight it is or hearing bird song as simple background noise and not recognizing the sound of a particular kind of bird.

Jesus fed four thousand people from seven loafs of bread. Shortly after, he and his disciples got in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. The disciples discovered they’d brought only one loaf of bread. They began to argue with each other about whose fault it was, completely forgetting how Jesus had fed a multitude. Jesus, the Bread of Life, was in the boat and they hadn’t comprehended or remembered who he was.

It is difficult to lose some abilities. I don’t hear like I did when I was 20. I do not see as well as I did at 30. If I live long enough, my vision and hearing will continue to decrease, as is normal, but never easy. But there is nothing to keep me from seeing and hearing Spirit.

Help me to see, hear, and remember you, O Holy One. ~ Anne

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1 thought on “Have ears but fail to hear.

  1. Paying attention, researching hearing aid possibilities with my hearing loss issue!

    Did I hear “get an air fryer”?


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