I wish you could have seen his face. For years now one of the older members of our congregation has sporadically shown up for church. It’s just been too frustrating for him to be there. His lack of good hearing, one of our most crucial senses, makes it extremely difficult for him to participate. He wants to be in church. But when you can’t hear well you may as well stay home. But then something happened.
He brought a simple device to church. I wore it around my neck. It fed directly into his hearing aid. And for the first time in a long, long time he heard every word I said. When he walked out of church he was nearly in tears. He gave me a hug and said: “I heard every word.”
It’s like those videos you see online of a little baby putting on glasses and seeing her parents for the first time. Our senses are a God-given gift. When they’re not working properly we are at a definite disadvantage. We’re not able to experience the world the way God originally meant it to be experienced. It’s so great that we live in a day and age where there is technology to help those who have hearing or sight disadvantages.
And it’s also a reminder to those who have fully functional senses. We dare not take them for granted. In fact, we ought to take every opportunity to heighten them and pay attention to them.
I once heard someone speak about this at a pastors’ conference. He encouraged us pastors to walk into our churches and pay attention to all of our senses:
- What do you see? Is there clutter?
- What do you smell? It should be pleasant (not moldy, musty, or bad).
- What do you taste? When your congregation shares meals is the food good and fresh?
- What do you touch? Do people welcome you with a handshake or a hug?
- What do you hear? Is the music too loud or too soft? Is there appropriate help for those who are hard of hearing?
How can you apply all this to your own home or workplace? Pay attention to your senses. How can you enhance the sensory experience for your family or co-workers. One of the things my wife and I like to do in our home is burn Ranger Station Candles. The scents are amongst the best I’ve ever experienced from a candle.
Don’t take your senses for granted. Pay attention to them today. You may just experience something new.