So Graced

ee52388ba75604b092e0f7b991357b18Let me tell you how bad my hearing is these days…not too long ago I parked my car in a busy parking lot and went to do some shopping in a pet store. Thirty minutes later I walked back to my car and found my keys still in the ignition with the engine running. I guess I’d been distracted before I got out of the car, but seriously, not even my hearing aids picked up the sound of my idly racing engine. Don’t even mention the stupidity of getting out of the car without my keys. I was so thankful that no one had stolen my car.

And so very thankful for the grace of God.

I quit my job last summer at the town cafe. A restaurant may seem an unlikely place for a hearing-impaired person, but a hearing-impaired person who is also visually-impaired? Definitely not likely. When I applied for the job I was honest with the owner, Mike, about my hearing disability. He said, “I don’t have a problem with that…”

…so graced.

A few days after I began work at this completely charming cafe in small town Spring Hope, I had a slight collision with Mike on the floor. He whipped around a corner on my blind side and I nearly knocked him over. I said, “I guess this would be a good time to tell you that I’m also blind in my left eye.” He didn’t even blink…

…so graced.

I learned to be extra careful as I maneuvered around the restaurant with plates of food, trays of drinks, and dirty dishes stacked precariously at every turn. Like the time I ran into a coworker and knocked a drink out of her hand that made a pretty big mess. She actually laughed…

…so graced.

I learned to be purposeful in the care taken to repeat every order so I didn’t make mistakes. Like the time I misunderstood an order and a customer had to wait twice as long to eat while his food was remade. He still tipped…

…so graced.

I learned to be aware of the activity all around me so I didn’t spill food in unwanted places. Like the time I was talking with a customer and knocked a hamburger and fries in her lap because I didn’t see or hear the server approach. She wasn’t a bit angry…

…so graced.

As my hearing degenerates I’m learning that I have to be intentional in many ways. Like when I get out of the car I have to make sure I’ve actually turned the engine off and my keys are in my purse. I check and recheck…

…so graced.

When I go shopping in a busy store I have to move with caution. Like the time I knocked someone down with a few groceries in her arms and had to grovel at her feet. She forgave me…

…so graced.

When I go to church I have to sit in a seat that gives me a good view of the pastor’s face so I can read lips. Sometimes I have to change seats three times before I find one where my view isn’t blocked. My family’s way over being embarrassed by this…

…so graced.

When I go to the bank I can’t go to the drive-in anymore. Like the time I couldn’t understand what the teller was saying through the speaker so I parked and went inside. She said, “I just wanted to know if there was anything else I could do for you today…”

…so graced.

God is so intentional in the way He graces me. Let’s face it, I don’t hear and see like most people around me, but who’s going to know that if I don’t tell them? If I want to get the most out of life I’m learning I have to be intentional, too. That means I have to let God’s grace do the work it was intended to do in me. My limitations force me to face challenges, but it’s grace that frees me to accept them.

I quit my job at the restaurant partly because the struggle was becoming too great to hear over all the activity and background noise, but God’s grace has no limits. I realize that even people with perfect hearing and perfect sight make the same mistakes I do, but sometimes it wears me out mentally and emotionally to be so intentional all the time. So aware. So cautious. So vulnerable.

Part of my lot in life is making the changes necessary to compensate for my physical limitations, but God will never change the way He extends His grace. It never wears Him out. I can count on it. I can depend upon it. I can expect it. I may be facing new challenges these days, but so what?

So graced, that’s what…

So God, that’s who..

“By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”  1 Corinthians 15:10

And the effect of this grace means my hearing-and-visually-impaired-self gets to shine His light in some of the most unlikely places… 

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