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Day by Day: The Chronicles of a Hard of Hearing Reporter

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You Can’t Catch Deafness

Hearing loss is not contagious. It is not terminal, and it is not the end of life as we know it. It is a detour with barriers. Each time we clear a hurdle, we become stronger and more prepared for the next one.

Even so, we may wonder why there are so many people with hearing loss. I wrote the following poem for my friend Pat Vincent who is one step away from total deafness. Pat told me he had been thinking that God must love hard of hearing people, since he made so many of us. With millions, maybe he is right. Pat, always the encourager, asked me if I might write a poem based on this concept. I let him know he would be the first to read it if I was so inspired.

Why So Many?
Did God tap you on the shoulder?
Or call you by your name?
You say you cannot hear, that your ears are weak?
When He talks to you, do you think
That makes a difference to Him?
Surely He cares and we know He hears,
But where was He, you might ask,
When the sound of the wind became hushed and
Voices soon became a blur?
Do you think God might have heard?
Doubtless, He knows all our pain and
All of our questions, before we ask them of Him.
He loves every soul, we are His creation.
So why so many with their hearing diminished?
The world is so noisy, a regular din.
Do you think, in the silence, we are more focused on Him?
Without the distractions of this clamoring earth,
Do you think it is easier to have spiritual rebirth?
No one has the answers—if we keep our hearts directed above
Our lives will be overflowing with blessed, peaceful love.
With faith to carry and to sustain
While millions join hands to deal with the pain
And teach others how to, from anger, refrain.
Maybe in silence we now do exist
So that when we’re in Heaven, in the choir, we will lift
Our voices with joy so the exalted sound
Will reach from the heavens right to the ground.

So let’s rejoice in our stillness and listen for His voice;
There are more ways than hearing to make that choice.
Millions live in a quiet, hushed world;
God loves them all, to Him we are whole
It is a deafening silence but His arms encircle us all
With a love so warm it will soften our hearts.
Then we are ready to listen, not with hearing but from our soul;
Now, in our silence, our lives can be full.

November 30, 1997

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