I was deaf but now I hear: a grace story

God starts to shape her baby’s ears in the darkness. She doesn’t even know yet – that life throbs in her. Cells split multiply split multiply split multiply.

And then she does know – thrills with pride and panic and happy nausea at the inner mystery workings though she can’t see the moulding of folds and lobes in their just-so place, their just-so shape. She grows big with hope and small ears in the hushed sanctuary swallow her soft diluted voice. Love traces tiny brain paths. Peace pulses in the foetal soul. He’ll know his Mommy when he hears her.

The inevitable debut dawns. God breathes and infant lungs suck and swell. The just-born ears hear her ecstasy of pain – tender mumblings – tentative love.

Years pass. God watches every hum buzz joke song yell and prayer that thuds or trickles into the ears of the baby then the boy then the man.

Who ends up a slave.

To the high priest.

In Jerusalem.

The slave-man’s ears overhear: his master hates. Cartilage canals brim with bitterness. There’s the sound of fear and spite and a plot coagulating.

One night in a garden above the city the slave-man is swept into the vindictive climax of a cosmic betrayal. Torch glaring, he hears in the throng of surprise attack soft traitor lips insipid on bearded cheeks. That’s the One. His friends are bleary – ashamed – yet desperate and afraid and brandishing swords because suddenly they get what this is and suddenly the slave-man hears – slice – excruciating silence. There’s blood and shock and grating breath and staggering and –

‘No more of this.’

It’s the prisoner speaking. The One they came to get. The One whose eyes are liquid love and perfect power and deep sadness strangely brightened by victory and bloodshot with prayer. God stretches out his hand. He touches the place where he formed the ear that first time in the darkness. And here in the darkness of the garden as his darkest hours unfold he makes for his beloved foe the slave-man another ear for the one he knew he would heal one day even as he was whispering to those first cells to split multiply split multiply split multiply. There’s no surprise in his eyes.

He forms his enemy. Then he fixes his enemy. Despite knowing. Despite everything.

He formed me. Then he fixed me. Despite knowing. Despite everything.

And I want to bow low and fling wide my arms in laughing sobs of thanks and consternation and relief and strange terror at our great God.

Because I was deaf but now I hear.

I think that’s grace.

(Based on Luke 22. I first published this in November 2012. Adapted slightly here today.)

. . .

So lovely to hang out with you – thanks.

Please keep close so you don’t miss out on news about Dragons and Dirt: the truth about changing the world and the courage it requires (©2014), due for release on 27 November 2014, D.V. (Check out the blurb here.) My friend Lisa-Jo Baker has written the foreword. Print and eBook editions will be available on Amazon, Kalahari and elsewhere.

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