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Listen to the message from God
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    Parousia, eschatology, antinomianism, deontology, existentialism ... a lot of words that probably don't mean diddly — a technical term — to most of us. Now, if we can understand one another, then we've got something going, but if not, then we have big trouble.
    Sometimes, people couch their real purpose behind smiles or warm handshakes. Sometimes, people tell half-truths or down-right lies. Occasionally, people think they're telling the absolute facts, when in reality, they have twisted or misunderstood the facts. Perhaps, some just cannot tell the truth because the truth is painful, unbelievable or won't make a difference. We can understand this. The lack of good communication comes about because of ignorance, lack of information, little clarity or a just plain intention to confuse. Here comes a miracle that will completely change a man's life.
    The man could not hear and because he could not hear, could not speak except in a kind of guttural or mimicking sound, and only his immediate family could understand his attempts at communication. He was limited in what he could do, where he could go and the ability to control his surroundings. In fact, the man was at the mercy of the moment. He lived in a world of his own, probably could not read or write and was given menial jobs where limited instruction was necessary. I am sure he was the butt of many jokes, had few friends and even thought of as stupid and cursed by God.
    Along comes the man called Jesus of Nazareth, who gives this poor wretched creature the ability to hear. Not only can he hear, but he can speak plainly. To be deaf one's entire life means that what we take for granted such as music, laughter, snoring, rain falling, animal noises, wind blowing and a thousand other sounds just do not exist for the deaf. I read somewhere that a doctor said that the worst physical handicap an average person could have would be the loss of hearing. Anyway, some of his family, perhaps friends, of the deaf man brought him to Jesus to be healed. No one I have ever talked to has told me just how this miracle occurred, and I can only accept this on faith: when Jesus said, "Be opened!" the man could hear and speak. This is just a small part of the miracle!
    The part of his brain that had never functioned didn't just begin to receive some sounds, the sounds were translated into understandable language and speech! The next amazing thing: Jesus says, "Don't tell anyone what happened here!" Get serious! The man who could not hear now listens to the voices of his mother and father, his brothers and sisters, his friends, the noises of the marketplace, the sounds of humanity and the world! "Don't tell anybody!"
    Can you imagine a lifetime of never being able to share your thoughts and feelings, to ask questions and get answers, to participate in one of the most basic needs? He had a story to tell even if it took the rest of his life. "Look at me and listen to what I have to say! A man called Jesus came by one day..."
    For 2,000 years, the message of Jesus Christ has been told and retold, preached and yelled, presented in plays and songs and still it seems that people either cannot hear or just don't want to hear. What will it take to make the message heard?
    There are lost people out there who are prisoners of language, community, economics, terrorism and situations that cannot be described in mere rhetoric. Each and everyone is struggling to be set free. There is a word of freedom for the world and it comes from God. Sometimes the word is a whisper, sometimes a powerful storm and sometimes it can only be heard in the silence after the storm. Listen carefully for here it is ... "For God so loved the world....!"
    I am listening, God! I am listening!
    Thanks, God!

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