There I was, in an arena with almost 7,000 women. The music was loud. The lights were low. And all around me, thousands of sweet voices blended as we worshiped the true and living God.
My seat was directly behind a small section reserved for the hearing impaired. A beautiful, graceful, and wonderfully expressive interpreter was signing all of the music, but I couldn’t help but feel so sad and sorry for the deaf women standing there, who couldn’t hear a note of the incredible worship experience we were having.
I didn’t dwell on the thought for long. I was drawn back in to the singing. My heart was tuned to the beat of the kick drum, the sweet rise and fall of notes on the piano, and the steady rhythm of an electric guitar. And don’t even get me started on the gorgeous sounds of nothing but precious female voices, singing with conviction as the instruments dropped out here and there.
I had long forgotten my momentary feelings of sorrow for the deaf women on the front row. But, suddenly I noticed them again.
Because standing there, in front of their dynamic little interpreter, several of the women who could hear nothing of the amazing music had their hands raised in praise to God. Women who live in a silent world. Who cannot hear the sound of their child’s voice saying Mama. Who have never heard a note. Who can’t know with any certainty what a bird’s song sounds like, much less a rock band.
Despite all that they were missing out on in that moment, they worshiped.
And, I’m sure with that many women in a room, there was at least one person there who was standing with arms crossed, upset over the ratio of hymns to modern songs. Maybe she was thinking, I simply can’t worship to this kind of music. Meanwhile, just feet away from her, and enveloped in complete silence, deaf women worshiped the One who had created them.
Jesus said, Whoever has ears, let them hear. (Matthew 11) Sometimes I think we’re confused as to who the true hearers are.
I saw some this weekend in the hearing impaired section.
And God was glorified.