Monday, January 16, 2012

Deaf in Heaven

Signing wedding vows

My daughter-in-law’s parents are both deaf.
I want to learn sign so I can communicate with them better.
It’s going slow.
To date I can say hi and yes and thanks and like and Jesus and hot dog.
Doesn’t make for scintillating conversation.
I think,
Won’t it be wonderful in heaven where they’ll be able to hear everything?

My daughter-in-law confirms that while they look forward to heaven it isn’t necessarily so they can hear.
They consider themselves blessed. Deafness isn’t their handicap. 
It’s who they are. 
They love their deaf culture and their deaf friends.
If someone told them tomorrow they could have surgery that would enable them to hear they would smile politely and decline.

This is beyond my comprehension.
Who wouldn’t want to hear?
Bird songs, music, children’s laughter.
I want to sign, “Someday you’ll be able to hear all the beauty I enjoy! 
When you get to heaven you’ll have to hear!”

“But wait!” they tell me with gracefully urgent hands, “When you get to heaven,  you won’t have to hear!
You won’t have to hear voices sharp with criticism, tight with anger, savage with hate.
You won’t have to hear foul language on TV or filthy lyrics in songs.
You won’t have to hear fault-finding or name-calling or reputation-mauling.

“You won’t have to hear screams of unrelenting pain, shouts of cruel conquest or whimpers of hopeless despair.
You won’t have to hear canned laughter, ‘if you want English press 1’, hysterical terriers or ‘Muskrat Love’.
Squealing brakes, honking horns, shouted obscenities? You won’t have to hear them either!

“Think of the bliss. All that ugliness we deaf folks enjoy not hearing.
When you get to heaven, you won’t have to hear either”.


Suef said...

Wow, great perspective!

Lori Lipsky said...

I don't think I've ever thought about all the things we won't hear in heaven. The fresh viewpoint is eye-opening. Thanks, Prude.

bethBA said...

You have such great insight, my friend. And no wonder Danielle is such a dear with parents like that!