"Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. The will the lame leap like a deer and and the mute tongue shout for joy." Isaiah 35. 5-6
Today begins Deaf Awareness Week. The condition is generally reckoned to be a handicap, affliction even. Indeed a "double-whammy" on account of its often rendering those who suffer mute as well as deaf. In churches, as in other sectors of society such as education, use of sign language is growing. The para-church mission organisation Latin Link, which serves Spanish and Portugese speaking nations across Europe and Latin America, includes a ministry to deaf people and their families.
Dame Evelyn Glennie and Ludwig Beethoven have taught us another side to deafness. Their outward, physical impediment has rendered them especially sensitive to other qualities associated with sound: rhythm and vibration in particular. Talking of which, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, whose most famous composition was arguably the "pocket symphony" Good Vibrations is totally deaf in one ear and enjoys only partial hearing in the other.
The Bible rails against the deafness of those who ignore the commands and the call of God in their lives. It also looks forward to a day when the Lord's people will hear and proclaim him clearly. In the meantime, even in our deafness and in our reluctance to give expression to our faith, can we detect deeper vibrations running through the rhythm of our lives, challenging and inviting us to hear afresh and reconsider our response to their author?