I remember well my first pair of hearing aids. What a difference they made! True, it was disconcerting at first. So many sounds I had not heard for a long time. Even the ticking of a clock!
The audiologist warned me that it might take time to adjust.
But conversations were much better since I didn’t have to ask people to repeat something. Decades later my hearing aids are even connected to my cell phone. I can now talk hands-free.
These hearing aids have not created any sounds. They simply allowed me to hear what was already existing. Just because we don’t “hear” some sound, does not mean that it doesn’t exist.
Of course, I have to make sure the aids are not clogged with wax.
Spiritual hearing aids?
What is true of physical hearing aids is also true in the spiritual realm.
There are many people who claim that God never speaks to them.
The truth is that God continues to speak through the written word of the Bible. And the Bible reminds us that God has spoken to us in many ways… including even “the jawbone of an ass.”
But God’s most powerful word was Jesus… the Word become flesh!
Oh, to have lived at the time of Jesus! I would like to think I would have hung on his every word. But I am not sure I would have been been able to hear beyond the legalisms of the 612 codified laws.
Since his resurrection, Jesus continues to speak through human beings … and in the nitty-gritty of daily life. Jesus said it clearly while he was alive. “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do for me.”
God wanted us to wake up to the meaning of OUR Father. How much clearer could it be than “love your God… AND your neighbor, as yourself?
Saul learned that the hard way on the road to Damascus. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Two disciples on the road to Emmaus learned more gently when a stranger walked with them in their confusion after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
It seems we have a history of needing to clean the wax from our ears.
Lent as a time of listening
Growing up Catholic in the ancient days of the mid-20th century I associated Lent with “giving up things.” “What are you giving up for Lent?” Candy, movies, going on a diet?
I don’t think I ever formally thought this, but looking back, it was like giving God something so that God would love me.
I didn’t hear the part about God ALREADY loving me… and continuing to love me no matter what.
What I now understand is that Lent is cleaning my ears to hear the Good News.
No, not merely good news, but the great news, that God loves me as I am.
Listen to what we are told on Ash Wednesday
- “Repent” means changing your way of thinking. Change your way of thinking from placating or manipulating an angry old man to becoming aware of a love greater than any love we have ever known, whether from a mother or father, husband or wife.
- “Believe the good news” means live according to this new way of thinking! If we wake up to the grace we are surrounded by, it truly becomes ”Amazing grace.” If we wake up to the good news that the love God has for us is all around us, we want to tell the good news about how we are loved… and love others as God loves us. And so we live according to this new way of thinking.
What do you hear this Lent?
Originally posted on Vincentian Mindwalk