Hearing Aids? Who Needs Them?

Hearing Aids of Faith?

I read lips a lot, and have learned to face people during conversation, so I can get by without my hearing aids at least for a while. At night I carefully place my hearing aids in their charger. Some mornings I’m so busy, I walk right by and forget them. Eventually, my frustration level begins to rise, and I go looking for them.

When telling his stories, Jesus said, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” (Mark 4:9) Having “ears to hear” can, and often does, require hearing aids. As long as we keep plugging along with the same ideas and thoughts that we learned as children, we will never become open to the joy of growing in our faith. It is amazing what we can learn when we have sincere discussions with people of other faiths, and with other Christians. New ideas and thoughts will not destroy our faith. In fact, truly listening to other opinions can be a great source of deepening our own faith.

I believe that choosing to keep ourselves bundled in what we’ve always known and heard can eventually result in a faith hearing loss. We want our belief system to be relevant to our lives today. Closed ears and minds can destroy that relevance. Of course, there will be some new ideas that we won’t accept but when we truly listen, we can learn even from those thoughts.

What are the “hearing aids” of faith? Easiest to acquire is to come to worship on Sunday morning with our ears almost flapping with the desire to hear. Expect there to be new thoughts in the scripture, the minister’s words, the hymns, the prayers, or during our conversations before and after. Try actually reading the Bible with care everyday, maybe even spending time talking to God about the same passage everyday for a week. There are books, so very many, reflections on scripture and on the basic doctrines of faith. There are formal bible studies and informal conversation with friends. These are all hearing aids, designed by God to help us learn how to listen, to have ears to hear. We can leave those aids on the shelf just as I leave my hearing aids in their charger. That won’t help us follow Jesus’ teaching, “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” Ask God to open your ears, to help you find your hearing aids of faith.

(adapted from “Dipping Your Toes” by Janet Stobie)


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