I live in Decapolis which is a region south of the Lake of Galilee and is made up of ten towns. I hate going out as there are always so many people everywhere. Because I am profoundly deaf and have never heard how words should be pronounced, I can’t speak very well and no one can understand what I am trying to say, so people think I am stupid and they either ignore me, shout at me, or call me names; they think that because I am deaf either I or my parents must have committed a terrible sin at some time, but I know that is not true. I feel so isolated and lonely at times as I have no friends apart from a couple who try to help me from time to time, everyone else treats me as a leper.
One day my friends said they wanted to take me to meet a man who could help me but I didn’t want to go because this man was so famous that thousands of people were always crowded around him, but my friends kept persuading me to go with them. When we got to where the man was, I wanted to stay at the back of the crowds but my friends kept edging nearer and nearer to him. I was trembling with fear wishing they would stop pushing me ever forwards, but they kept on until we were finally standing right in front of him. When I managed to lift my head and look up at his face suddenly all my fear disappeared because his face shone with such peace and gentleness, and he looked at me with great love and compassion such as I had never seen before.
Suddenly he was taking hold of my arm and leading me away from the crowds to a quiet place. He put his fingers in my ears, then he spat and touched my tongue, and he looked up to heaven and said: “Ephphatha”, which is an easy word to lipread; it means: “be opened”. Suddenly I realised that I was hearing his voice! He started talking to me and when I tried to talk back to him I found that I was speaking perfectly! My heart was almost bursting with joy and excitement. Who was this man who completely understood my situation? He knew how lonely I had been and he knew that if he restored my hearing whilst surrounded by the crowds the noise would have been overwhelming, too much for me to cope with, so he took me away somewhere quiet where I could slowly adjust to being able to hear. What an amazing man! What wonderful love!
Based on Mark 7:31-35
Written by Christine Pitts