Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Second Language

Yesterday, I showed a film clip in class about a Starbucks' barista who learned American Sign Language simply so she could wait on a customer in his arena. This is from 2009 and portrays one of my former students who did the same.

I had just returned home from Wichita Saturday when I ran into Todd Burnett at the grocery store. It had been several years since I had seen Todd, one of my former students at Westbury Christian School. He told me about his new job and how much he loved it. We talked of his classmates and where they are in life. Todd spoke of the recent death of his grandfather and I commiserated. I filled him in on Sydney, his cousin, who is one of our intermediate students at WCS. Before long, ten or fifteen minutes had passed and the guys he had come with were ready to leave. I saw Todd motioning to the group as they stood by the exit. He went on to explain that his friends were all deaf and he was learning to sign so he could communicate better. We said goodbye and as I checked out, I saw Todd speaking to his buddies in a language I do not understand, with gestures passing for words. I know he is not fluent in International Sign Language but I doubt that matters to his friends. Todd is reaching out to their world, a world that is foreign to most of us. In class today, I showed my students a film clip of a blind man on the streets of New York who was selling little trinkets of art. Beside him was a sign that read, "God closed my eyes so now I can see." I liked that thought. Maybe Todd's friends see their deafness as a blessing, too. Jesus often said, ''He who has an ear, let him hear!" Some of us just hear differently. I think Todd no longer hears just with his ears; he listens with his heart.

Applicable quote of the day:
"God hears no more than the heart speaks; and if the heart be dumb, God will certainly be deaf.''
Thomas Brooks

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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