When I was in my early twenties my wife and I would drive over to see my grandfather who was 80, a widower, and lived alone. As our car pulled into the driveway even with the windows up in our car, and the doors and windows closed in his house, we could still clearly hear every word being said on my Grandfather’s television. As he grew older and as his hearing was failing, he just kept turning the volume up. That was in the 70’s, and he has long since passed away and this is now 2012. Now I am the Grandfather. Now I find my kids saying “dad the TV is too loud”. I guess I always understood that some people are born with hearing loss but most others lose their hearing as they grew older. This is true for physical hearing, but what about our spiritual hearing?
Are we all deaf? Spiritually deaf that is. This past Sunday’s Gospel reading was the story from Mark 7:31-37 about the deaf man who also had a speech impediment. In the story there are some important points. First before healing the man Jesus took him off by himself. Next, “He put his finger in the deaf man’s ears and spitting He touched his tongue” and finally He groaned and said “BE OPENED”. At this the man was healed.
Let me ask you this, has your spouse or someone ever told you that you have selective hearing? I know my wife sometimes tells me that. She also sometimes uses the phrase “you hear what you want to hear”. Has anyone ever said that to you? This is usually a sign that I was not paying close attention when she told me something or it seemed unimportant at the time so later on I did not remember it.
I believe that is exactly what we all do with God. We hear and remember and act on those things we deem important. But I believe we all hear God telling us things that we choose to ignore. We all have selective spiritual hearing. We all have our own sinfulness. We all have things that we hear God calling us to change, but we hang on to them anyway. Some of these things are habitual things that keep us from the fullness of grace and freedom that Christ offers us.
What is the source of your spiritual deafness? What things do you honestly hear God calling you to turn away from? What was the first thing Jesus did with the deaf man? He took him away by himself. There, away from all distractions, Jesus was able to restore his hearing and correct his speech. Are we willing to allow Jesus to take us away and alone with Him? Plan a spiritual retreat or some time away with just you and Jesus. Then allow Him to restore your hearing. Let Him be the cure. Allow Him to touch you and to heal you. He wants to perform a miracle in your life just like He did for the deaf man. Once Jesus has restored your spiritual hearing then He can also restore your speech too. Then you can sing His praises to everyone and tell of His miracle in your life. BE OPENED and be healed today! Find a place to be alone in prayer with Him, and then pray these words to Him.
Jesus wants us to call on Him and He wants to restore us and fill us with His peace and freedom.
Lord today, I ask that you cure my spiritual deafness and selective hearing. Clean out the blockage of sin that keeps me from hearing the fullness of your love. Lord grant that I not hear what I want to hear, but allow me to hear what you have to say in my life. Lord, let your will be done in me. You alone Lord can cure me. Amen.