About this time of year, you might think that being deaf would be a blessing - all of the noise, the Christmas songs on repeat, the "Santa Baby"s, the bell-ringing, the kids bouncing off the walls...it's enough to make your head spin, and a little bit of pure quiet doesn't sound like such a bad thing.
But to a man unable to hear, all he wanted was Jesus's healing touch.
The story, as we're told is in the Gospels, is that when Jesus encountered the deaf man, He stuck His fingers in the man's ears, and that opened them. The man was then able to hear.
As I was thinking about this story this week in preparation for writing this reflection, I started thinking about what it is that I hear when I cannot hear anything at all, it seems - when I lie down at night and the pillow covers one of my ears and my blankets cover the other; when I'm trying to escape all of the noise and I stick my own fingers in my own ears.
And you know what I came up with? My heartbeat. In the moments when my ears are plugged, when it seems I can't hear anything at all, what I hear is my own heartbeat. I almost feel it in my bones in a way that goes beyond hearing.
I wonder if that's what the deaf man heard when Jesus stuck His fingers in the man's ears. I wonder if that's the first thing he could understand happening in that healing moment.
That's what a lot of us want from Jesus.
We want to hear. We want to hear Him telling us a story of our purpose. We want to hear Him calling us to something bigger. We want to hear Him talk about the meaning of our life and the calling on it and what we're supposed to be doing.
Oh, that we would all be in a place that we could hear our holy heart beat as Jesus restores us to hear.
Oh, that we would listen.
This is the one thing that many are looking for from Jesus, it's the one thing that would turn everything for them. Lord, let me hear. Let me hear You speak of goodness. Let me hear You speak of glory. Let me hear You call me to greater things. Let me hear You making good out of all things. Let me hear You speak at all.
Then, He sticks His fingers in our ears, and it's unmistakable. That heartbeat. That purpose. That belovedness. It's all we've ever wanted.
And it's possible only because He is here, only because He has hands at all with which to touch our too-deaf ears.