I'm back from a couple of incredible days of conversations with with people in their teens, twenties and even thirties. I really consider it a grace to have the opportunity and honour really of listening to these kids and walking with them through a patch of life.
Their opinions on life and church and God are real and insightful, and the gifts they bring this world are just staggering. Even when they see what they think are great weaknesses in themselves, to be able to show how that "weakness" is a great gift to the community and the world at large, and then to watch their eyes open like the first time as they see themselves differently, well it's just breathtaking.
They are a very honest bunch, generally speaking, and I respect that integrity. They nail the church truthfully and more or less without prejudice. They wonder why the church finds it easier to give a buck or run a program than it is to live life like God really cares for the poor.
These ones have always been the ones to remind me, to call me back to first things. These "young" ones. No their faith may not be refined and their communication skills may struggle, but their questions need honest answers and until the church figures out ways to answer them honestly we will continue to loose them.
Anyway, that's a freebie for tonight. Churches, listen to the children, they will lead you.
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Some of you have been asking about the hearing and no it isn't any better.
It really freaked me out about going to the city to listen to people, when I can only hear half as well and any crowd noise or background noise just resonates loudly. The ringing or screeching in my head takes that outside noise and messes with it and I can't hear the small voices. It was difficult work to listen and this gives a whole new meaning to listening being work.
This is day four of no hearing in my right ear. The better part of me on good days expects it will just snap back in place all of a sudden one day. The worse side of me on bad days is fearful that that day will be far far away or maybe never arrive.
I'd feel better if I had whacked my head with a big basketball or something. I'd feel better if it hurt or if it was infected or I had a cold or sinus problems. But there is nothing like that. I'd feel better because the problem was caused by external shock or health issues and when those cleared up so would the deafness. This leaves me wondering if it will ever come back.
I am really surprised how quickly you forget what sound with two ears sounds like.
It's like forgetting what someone looks like and you construct an image in your head. So too you know the sound from the radio shouldn't sound like a tin am radio, but you only know it should be fuller and when both ears are working, it's a dream. Like stereo over mono audio.
It seems to be adapting to the point where sometimes in the night when I get up or when I'm in the shower with all the noise, I can't tell that it's not working and I think I'm better. Then I plug my left ear and it's all still externally silent.
And phones. I switch back and forth usually to keep each side of my brain busy, but now I forget and switch to the right ear and think the person went away on me. Don't get me started on alarm clocks because I took extra time to hear mine this week when I slept on my left side.
I just hope it goes away quickly, but in the meantime I'm having an amazing learning experience. How I cope with things like this, how I listen, how I talk, how the body responds to these kinds of things. All would be missed without such an experience.
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And Thomas. It was good to spend a little time with him this week too.
He's off to serve at a Manitoba camp next week for the summer and we won't see him again for a long while. I'm glad for him because he's making good decisions with his life and I hope and pray he has a good summer. But we will miss him, lots.
And don't get me started on Safeway who cut pretty much all his hours once he gave them an end date. It's really unfortunate that they operate that way.
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And now to bed. Sunday I'm leading worship with only half my auditory skills in place, and all the piano players are at ladies retreat, and, and, and, it could end up being quite entertaining. Gong show and all, you might want to stop by.
Night from The Field.