How Sweet the Sound

by Michael Gallup

The video below offers us a privileged opportunity to peak-in on a miracle. For the first time ever, Sarah Churman is able to hear. Thanks to some special hearing-aid technology called “The Esteem” Sarah, 29 years old, who was born deaf and had never heard her own voice is able to hear for the first time. Here’s what she says:

I was born deaf and 8 weeks ago I received a hearing implant. This is the video of them turning it on and me hearing myself for the first time

Also:

My whole life I’ve been complimented on how well I speak. I don’t really have an answer for you other than I have always had a passion for reading, grammar, and English. My hearing loss was/is considered severe to profound. I’ve worked very hard to be able to interact and blend in…only thing I can say is ‘God is good’.

Wow.

What a beautiful moment to witness. My imagination fails me in conjuring up what it might feel like to hear for the first time: confused? shocked? loud? But Sarah’s response is perfect, utter wonder. She is so overwhelmed by what is to most of us the most underappreciated ability.

Hearing is one of God’s sweetest gifts. I love a good conversation or to sit back and close my eyes while a violen solo sores across a favorite bluegrass track. I’ll never forget when I first heard my daughter’s heartbeat. The intoxicating rhythm of rain fall is perhaps the most soothing sound there is. I was serrenaded to sleep every night in the south to a chorus of bull frogs and crickets. And heaven reaches closest to earth in the rumbling pattern of the ocean waves breaking on the coast of Pawleys Island.  Oh the joy to hear!

Jesus says something interesting about hearing when he’s telling one of his illustrative stories. He says, “whoever has ears to hear. Let them hear.” This seems like a wierd command in a world so full of noise. My inability to quit hearing drives me nuts, espcially when a neighbor decides to turn up the bass really loud while Mary Grace is taking a nap. And yet, perhaps what Jesus says is most relevant in the midst of all of our noise.

As I’m writing this, I can hear those crickets outside of my window and I realize that I haven’t ever really heard them before. As a child I would perk up my ear to my bedroom window and envision the all the creatures in the marsh behind my house bellowing their songs of love and heartache. I listened. Yet today while I may hear much, I listen to little.

So just maybe Jesus was on to something. Maybe there is something he is saying, whether in the giggle of a two-year old or even in our bibles, that we haven’t been hearing. A voice proclaiming that the most beautiful things and the most sacred moments are not so rare. Yet until we dig out ears for ourselves, we’ll find little to make us weep.

Take a momnet today and listen, to the silence, to the voice of your co-worker, to the wind in the leaves of the trees, to your life and maybe you will find more than you ever imagined. Maybe you may hear the very voice of God himself. And we may finds ourselves like Sarah, overcome with the miracle of simply hearing a voice. Oh, how sweet the sound!

Michael is becoming a Pastor. He is dreaming of planting a church in North Little Rock after he finishes his studies at Denver Seminary. He hopes he learns to listen and to wonder and to hear the voice of God. You can read his blog, A Sprig of Hope, by clicking here.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “How Sweet the Sound

  1. Moving blog. How do you say, picturesque for the ear. The video was amazing. The nurse did not know what to do with Sarah’s sense of wonder. At one point the nurse says, “You’ll get used to it.” That’s me. And I hope she doesn’t.

  2. Georgie-ann

    Such a wonderful event!,…I’m completely amazed also by her beautiful ability to speak so clearly and normally,…what a miracle, however it all came to be!,…

    It’s very clear that she was “touched” by something very deep and profound, a profound connection to life and living experience.

    A long time ago, I came across information that differentiated between how we process visual and hearing sensory input. As I remember it, it was explained that visual input is more directly connected to our thinking mind/brain, but that hearing/sounds had a more direct influence on our “hearts.” With all the elaborate brain imagery going on now, perhaps that could be explained in much more specific details, but for me the simple version is fine, and does ring true.

    The greatest “spiritual” music has such a unique ability to transport us to transcendent realms, that otherwise, we can barely imagine. But, as you say so well, the “sounds of life” well-heard can be just as moving.

    Life IS a miracle, precious, to be “handled with care.” And God IS Good!

    Thank you for sharing this experience with us!

    • Michael Gallup

      Thanks Georgie-ann. Perhaps spirtual music is not limited to the playing of instruments and singing. The Old Testamnet is filled with wonderful imagery of creation itself singing praise to God. The patterns of sound in nature reflects the patterned and ordered creation of our wonderful creator God.

  3. Georgie-ann

    and the very gift of Life itself!,…Amen and amen!

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