Over ten years ago,my friend. Gayla, sang “I can only imagine” at the funeral of my mother.
I can still remember her beautiful voice and her hands reaching up in praise.
She gave me a gift,because I knew her voice and her lips and I could understand the song.
I didn’t have to imagine the words, because my friend loved me enough to make sure I understood them.
And that’s the key here “loved enough”.
So many.many times I’m surrounded by people and I’m only imagining what they are saying,filling in the blanks with my own thoughts and creating my own lyrics and stories because, for whatever reason, I’m not able to understand.
At church, I launch on to whatever scripture is posted on the screen and do my own study,letting my mind wander and fill in for all I’m missing out on.
Sometimes there’s a roar of laughter and I crumble inside,wishing I could have joined in,wishing I knew what was so hilarious,but I can just imagine.
During family gatherings, I have to imagine what everyone is talking about as they sit outside around the fire in the twilight darkness,until eventually I walk inside alone.
I wonder if they ever realize how deeply painful it is to be left out like that. I imagine not.
Sometimes my deafness seems to be a barrier that separates me from what I want to know and yet, I feel certain that my deafness is a gift.
This brings out the best-not just the worst-in people.
I have been deeply touched by friends that thoughtfully look for the best lit seats, that scoot over and let me share their chair so I can read their lips,that find apps so I can read the lyrics of the songs I’m hearing
I bet they can’t even imagine how honoured I feel when they walk away from the crowd, take my hand and lead me to a quiet place and tell me what everyone was saying.
I have been bought to tears by a guy that has typed the stage batter along with the lyrics and finally-FINALLY-let me fully experience what it’s like to be present at a concert.
There’s been times when I’ve seen glimpses of frustration-in the faces of people when I’ve asked them to repeat something I didn’t hear the first or second time.
If they could only imagine what it’s like for me ,sitting for hours,longing to understand,to be enough,to know exactly what was being said,to be fulfilled with the words of everyone.
Just imagine….if I was you and you were me….I would sit close and tell you everything you missed and all that you . were.
Feel with both hands, Jeanna’