As mentioned in my last blog, I've spent the last few weeks working on projects for WWU's Campus Ministries. This week is Week of Worship and the theme is "Simple 'cos Life Isn't." (Isn't that the truth!) I painted these panels on 4x6 wooden sheets with regular latex house paint.
As a few of my readers may know, I suffer from a severe hearing loss. Maybe "suffer" isn't always the word that would best describe it, but there are days the emotional stress I go through feels like suffering. Some days I'm angry about it... other days I have pity parties and cry. I miss out on more than 75% of what people are saying directly to me in most situations (unless I'm out of doors where it's completely quiet, or in a room where there are no other auditory distractions). I hear some people better than others such as adults with lower voices that speak and enunciate clearly. Understanding what children say to me, on the other hand, is just about out of the question - which is extremely unfortunate because I miss working with children. Any music played above the "G" above middle "C" is gone. It's as though it doesn't exist to me. It wasn't always this way. I played the flute in junior high. Now I can't hear it.
Simple things that most people take for granted, such as having a conversation on the phone, aren't simple for me. They're downright impossible. Going through a checkout line in a store (WalMart, with its overhead blowers, is the worst) is frustrating and embarrassing. I always hope the cashier won't say anything to me because who knows if I'll respond correctly.
My devotions this morning led me part way through the book of Esther, and the 18th chapter of the book of Luke. I noticed the running theme was "mercy." The sinner praying in the Temple (Luke 18:13,14), the blind man on the outskirts of Jericho (Luke 18:35-43), and Esther (who experienced mercy- both from her king and through the divine deliverance of her people). Mercy: divine tenderness (as a mother would comfort her hurting child), compassion (God becoming a man to experience our sorrows with us), reconciliation (God doing everything possible to meet us where we are, to shower us with His acceptance and grace and to restore us in every way to what He created us to be).
In spite of my physical, spiritual and emotional shortcomings, God has shown me mercy, as well. Though I'm losing my hearing at a rapid rate, He has blessed me with the gift of sight and the love of visual arts. I may not be able to hear the soprano in an opera or the piccolos and flutes in Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, but God has created a visual symphony of beauty that speaks in tones and volumes I can understand. He has granted that I may see better than I hear, and that my sight is keener than it might be if my hearing were not failing. God's grace is sufficient and His mercy says, in quite simple terms, "I love you, Caprice."