Silent thoughts

Dear Church,
 
I want to write to you about all the wonderful things I have noticed during my time on total silence. Maybe I will get there someday; I hope so. What I see right now is difficult, troubling, and sometimes very lonely.
 
It is humbling to spend some time as an American with a disability. Everything in our daily interactions is based on being able to speak and to hear. I've learned that I really cannot do anything out in the city by myself. Can't go to the grocery store. Can't order soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant. It's even hard to walk around the block by myself, as people get offended when my response to their hellos is a wave.
 
It's easier if I go with Ann, who can speak for me. But even that is not without its challenges. Sometimes she gives answers that I wish she wouldn't. As anyone who has ever been married knows, speaking for your spouse doesn't lead anywhere good.
 
People drop into the church office all the time. If Cheryl isn't here, they all end up in my office asking about roof leaks or hot water heater connections or services for homeless people. And though I smile at them and write out the answers to their questions, they are clearly impatient that any answer I give them takes much longer than if I could speak.
 
Even in this city that prides itself on a relaxed pace of life, no one wants it to be the pace of writing things down.
 
At this point, I don't know if my voice will ever return to what it was before, but I have reason to believe that I will be able to speak. I've been thinking of those who have permanent limitations. Thinking about how those limitations limit their interactions with others. Thinking about how annoyed people get at having to accommodate someone whose abilities are different.
 
I'm thinking about ways that I have unintentionally been impatient with those whose needs were greater than my own, and committing myself to remaining aware when my own situation improves. 
 
Galatians 6:2 reads, "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
 
May we think creatively about how we can do that for all God's children.
 
Grace and peace,
 
Pastor Kim
 

Presbyterian Fun Fact

There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

 

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