I was 10 years old when I first started wearing spectacles. I remember how amazed I was when I walked out of the opticians and saw how sharp and clear everything seemed. I could pick out individual leaves on trees (something that I had not been able to do before) and read the destination and numbers on buses! (My inability to do this was one of the things that suggested to my parents that a visit to the optician was in order).
I could see what had always been there but which I had previously not spotted.
Last week I was fitted with a hearing aid; only one because the hearing loss is only in one ear. Pending further investigation the cause of this is not yet known. It could be MS (although MS only affects hearing in only a small proportion of cases).
They tell me that it can take up to two months to adjust to having a hearing aid, and I can believe that! However, already I am amazed at what I can hear. The every day I was fitted with the aid I spent a good half hour just sitting in St Cuthbert’s graveyard listening to the birds. I heard their song with a new and unexpected clarity.
All of which makes me wonder what we miss out on because we do not listen or look.
Do we really hear what people are saying? Do we hear what God is saying?
Do we see the beauty of the world, the suffering of many people, the Divine presence in creation or the love of God in Christ?
These things are all there to be seen or heard.