DayBreaks for 9/21/15: Deafness
From the DayBreaks archive, September 2005:
From 2020 Vision: “The story is told of Carl Sandburg, the great American poet, who as a college student took his roommate home to visit for the holidays. As Carl introduced his roommate to his hard-of-hearing aunt, he announced, “Auntie, I want you to meet my roommate, Al Specknoodle.” The aunt cupped her ear and shook her head. Carl tried again: “I want you to meet my roommate, Al Specknoodle.” The aunt frowned and shook her head again. Carl sputtered and shouted, “Al Specknoodle! My roommate!” Finally the aunt burst into tears: “It’s no use, Carl,” she said. “No matter how many times you say it, it still sounds like Al Specknoodle!”
As humans, we have a very difficult time hearing well. It seems we can hear all the things we really want to hear, or at least we think we hear what we want to hear, even if it wasn’t really said at all! We read between the lines and imply meanings where none was meant. But when someone tells us things that we don’t want to hear – even when they do so very plainly – we have a great capability to “tune them out” and act like we didn’t hear.
For millennia, God has been telling His people what He wants – He wants us to love Him and others and to obey Him. He wants us to hear that there is good news afoot in the universe, the kingdom of God has come near and there is room in the kingdom for anyone who wants to be part of it. Yet many seem not to hear. Why? Could it be that it’s because as humans, we don’t mind the “love” part, but the “obey” bit sticks in our craw, as does anything that would “cost” us? And so, we tune Him out.
He’s also been telling us for millennia that we are to be a blessing to all the nations of the world. We get really excited about Christianity (understandably so), when we think about what it means for us individually – forgiveness, release from shame and guilt, entry into heaven. But we aren’t as excited about the flip side – in fact, the key point of Christianity isn’t about ourselves and what we want, but about others – being the blessing to the world at large that God calls us to be.
Jer. 4:1-2 – O Israel, come back to me,” says the LORD. “If you will throw away your detestable idols and go astray no more, 2 and if you will swear by my name alone, and begin to live good, honest lives and uphold justice, then you will be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people will come and praise my name.
PRAYER: Open our ears to hear Your Word clearly and plainly, and give us hearts that are inclined toward obedience! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.