“Oh no! Where is my hearing aid this time?” I mumbled to myself.
That sick feeling was back in my gut, but I pushed it back until I knew for sure it was lost. When that happened, full blown panic would set in. If I didn’t find it soon, I’d have to tell someone. That would probably be my mother, who would say, “Didn’t I tell you to put them in the same place every day? Then, they’re always there and you know exactly where to look for them.”
I don’t know why I can’t remember to do that.
It’s a simple thing. It’s a matter of taking a few extra minutes, that’s all.
My sister tells me that all the time about my keys.
Why can’t I just DO it?
After all, these tiny little aids cost over $5,000! The most remarkable thing is that I didn’t even have to pay for them—the state of Pennsylvania provided them to me in an ongoing gesture to keep me employed (and, ultimately, paying into the system via taxes).
But it was gift. A beautiful, undeserved gift that I couldn’t do without. Either in my personal life or my professional life as a foreign language teacher.
I remember when I first found out about my hearing loss. Much like my vision loss, my hearing loss occurred gradually until one day I realized I was missing significant details in conversations, over the telephone and, especially, out in public. This made me feel and sound weird to myself and others. I was devastated.
My hearing loss had a name: Type III Usher’s Syndrome. I knew some people with Retinitis Pigmentosa also developed hearing loss later on, and it, too, got progressively worse until total deafness set in. That’s what was happening to me.
So these tiny hearing aids are my only link to understanding my hearing world.
When I first received them, I put them in a special case. I handled them gently, wiped them down in reverential awe with a special cloth. But as so often happens, I began to get sloppy. I stopped putting them in the case and set them by my bed, the computer or even my dresser. I’d have to grope for them sometimes if I were having a bad vision day.
Luckily, I found my hearing aid a short time later. I found it on the floor not far from a little lacquered sub-Saharan Indian table. I could have stepped on it. The dog could have chewed it. The cat could have batted it around. Gulp!
I’d never retrieved it from such a vulnerable position before.
It scared me, frankly.
My mother and my sister were wise when they tell me to put my hearing aids away in a safe, known place.
I remember when I first found out about my losses. I realized I was missing significant amounts of peace, joy, and direction in my life. I couldn’t follow conversations, or understand those whose plans hinged on those qualities. This devastated me.
My losses came with a name: Sin. On its own, it would get progressively worse until total sin took over.
But He gave me a gift. A beautiful, undeserved gift I couldn’t do without. Either in my private or professional life. He gave me His son, in an ongoing gesture that would lead to Eternal Life. All I had to do was to keep his commandments in a safe, known place.
But what if I left my hearing aids in the case and never put them in my ears to do their job? I’d never benefit. Likewise, even if I bound God’s commandments to my fingers and stored them on the tablet of my heart, I had to use them to benefit. Every day. All day.
They are my only link to understanding my Father’s world.
I want to value His gift. I want to maximize the tools He gave me.
But I know it’s going to happen. I’m going to get sloppy.
I don’t know why I’m so careless with things that cost so much.
But thank God that He gives me the cloth of grace each day.
To try again. To organize myself better.
To retrieve what matters so much.
To plug His tools into my life.
…So I hear Him better. See Him more clearly. Trust Him more fully.
I’m so glad I lost … then … found my hearing aid!
It reminded me to place His commandments on my heart, and to use them.