Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving for My Cochlear Implant

I stood up in our Thanksgiving service to give thanks for this amazing gift of hearing with a cochlear implant. The pastor's meditation was on the 10 lepers that Jesus healed (Luke 17:11-19) He did a powerful first person monologue as one of the lepers. He talked about how he tried to hide the spots on his hands, then someone made him go to the priests--who declared him unclean. The leprosy separated him and others from the community, from their former occupations, from their loved ones, from being able to worship. They heard about this Jesus who could heal people, and He was coming their way. They cried out from the distance because they could not draw near to Him. "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" All he said was, "Go show yourselves to the priests." As they ran, they felt strength pouring back into their bodies, and discovered their skin was now clean. One was so overwhelmed with gratitude he came back to tell Jesus thank you.

I know that overwhelming need to tell someone thank you. I gradually lost my hearing over the past 15 years. I was obviously not ostracized like the leper, but I was cut off much the same, because I withdrew from conversations because I could not hear. I lost track of the topic of conversation, I answered questions that weren't asked, I felt like I made myself look like an idiot. (A woman with two hearing aids sitting a few rows away from me sat nodding her head.) Being able to hear and participate in worship was an incredible and frustrating challenge. When I got my cochlear implant in March, it was to me as miraculous as healing was to the leper. It has been so amazing to be able to hear again! A few months later, I got to visit the implant manufacturing plant. I got to watch people at microscopes assembling the tiny electrodes that are now in my ear, giving me sound. I waved, I pointed to my head and mouthed, "I have one!!" I cried. Halfway through the tour, I couldn't stand it any more: I told our guide, "I HAVE to tell SOMEBODY thank you!!" So he pulled two shift leaders out of a room. I went to shake their hands and began weeping. I gave them huge hugs and kept saying, "Thank you for all the work you do. You gave me my life back. Thank you so much! Please tell them all thank you for me!"

I am so grateful, so thankful that God has given me this incredible gift of being able to hear, being able to continue in my career as a preschool teacher, being able to join in with my family so much more in dinner conversation and with my friends at our Bible study, being able to participate more fully in worship again. I am so very grateful.

All praise to the Lord God Almighty, King and Creator of all things!!


Anonymous Jacque Green said...

I love this! It makes me want to jump and shout and sing praises to the King of Kings! This reminds me of the gift we received when the CI gave us our little 3 year old girl back! (right now, as I type, she is behind me singing the most beautiful song...of words I can't totally understand yet....but, it is beautiful, all the same!) Thank you for sharing your testimony! It fills my heart with joy today and reminds me of the blessings I need to count DAILY!

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to read your story. I wish I can find your email address somewhere here to give you more feedback and make more comments.

1:45 AM  

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