The Voice of Truth

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Well, yesterday I got hearing aids. I’ve had a hearing problem for much of my life due to encephalitis as a child. For years I have compensated well because one ear did well with high tones and the other with low ones. But, alas, age creeps up and after going to three specialists, here I am with both ears amplified, and the world is very different.

This morning I went for my usual one hour prayer walk and heard things I’ve never heard, like the interstate traffic, Ft. Jackson’s bugle, and the birds. I thought I was in Hitchcock’s movie, “The Birds.” Above the cacophony were crows with their distinctive “caw, caw!” It was overwhelming. I’m learning when to take them out, like when I go walking, even though I heard a car coming well ahead of the danger of being run over. You know they say it’s not the first car that gets you; it’s the second one that you didn’t hear. I’ll risk it.

Trying to position a phone at the right angle and distance next to my ear is weird, to say the least. So I’ll use my better ear and take the hearing aid out of that ear. Now I can hear everything my secretary says, the toilet flushing is like Niagara Falls, and all of a sudden I can hear the refrigerator, the squirrel scurrying over the roof, and water pipes creaking and moaning. It’s a new world and I didn’t know how much I was missing!

My fear is whether or not too much hearing ability will cause me to miss God’s “still, small voice.” As we are about to go into our intensive week of clergy appointment-making, it will be wonderful to catch all the names and nuances without wearing myself out reading lips and faces ad infinitum but, who knows, maybe it’s being a blessing not to hear some things so I can tune into God alone. Having the world I’ve been missing come in loud and clear may actually prove to be distracting.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled to hear again, but my brain has to relearn what the world sounds like. That’s exciting, but I don’t want to forget the voice that hasn’t changed and never will!

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