“Hearing Loss and Victory…"
By Rev. Rick Pittenger
Can you hear me now? What?!
Mother’s Day is upon us. As many of you know, I went to visit my mother about a month ago. We had a great time being together. For the first few days my older sister Peri was with us and we were able to take mom to the doctor, who prescribed an antibiotic. We also took her to the audiologist to upgrade her hearing aids. I recalled how for years we had tried to talk her into hearing aids, but Mom didn’t think she needed them. Finally, in order to satisfy us, she reluctantly went. Upon examining her hearing; the Doctor said; “Ma'am, you don’t need a hearing aid”… much to my mom’s relief… and then he added, “You need TWO hearing aids.” “Ouch!” It was not the answer my mom wanted to “hear.”
Well this time mom found that she had suffered even more hearing loss and was fitted for a newer, more powerful set of hearing aids. While we were with the doctor I wondered if they’d do a hearing test on me. The doctor said that after Mom’s appointment he would check my hearing for free. My wife would probably say, “You don’t have so much of a hearing problem; you just don’t LISTEN!” ☺
So after getting my mom situated with her new hearing aids, the doctor invited me into the back room: the sound-proof hearing booth. The room was basically a meat locker complete with carpeting everywhere except over the small window that must have been bulletproof glass. It even had that round disc on a cylinder you push on to get out, just like the Sunshine Foods grocery store had when I was a bagger in high school.
When he shut that door and I put on the head phones; it was Q U I E T… so very quiet… it was deafening! All I could hear was a rush of silence that was overwhelming. When one of your senses is deprived of any stimuli it is an awe-filled moment. I remember the feeling only once before – when I was in a cave in the Hills and the guide had taken us so far into the cave that when he turned off the lights there was NOTHING to see but complete and total darkness.
The test began; soon I was lifting my hand to let him know I could hear the pitches he played in each ear. Sometimes I almost felt like I could hear a very faint sound and then I’d raise my hand and make that “just a pinch” display with my thumb and index finger. When I was done, the doctor told me that I am deafer in my left ear than in my right. Asymmetric hearing loss is a common symptom of driving your car with your window down. He went on to say that eventually I’ll probably need hearing aids, but that for right now I can probably get by.
Another experience I had while visiting in Colorado was when we went off the “tourist” road and took a detour up a gravel road. The view was breathtaking… God’s world is like that. There are no words, and we’re left speechless at the vastness of creation. Our spirituality is kind of like a sixth sense. Surrounded by so much proof each day, it can become expected. I remember driving toward the mountains at different times as we traveled to Canon City, CO to visit mom’s friend CW. All the regular commuters seemed oblivious to the beauty that surrounded us. They were all rushing to work or to home and it seemed as if I was the only “tourist” in the mix.
As our children graduate from grade to grade and life to life, and as summer approaches we’re reminded of God’s awe-filled abundance and our ability to be renewed by that “quiet whisper” in the midst of our oftentimes broken and hectic lives. So take some time in the weeks and months ahead to be renewed... refreshed… and connected.