A smiling couple entered the store this afternoon to purchase two sandwiches. "Mike's Way?" I asked enthusiastically. "Brittany, they can't hear you." It was then that I realized my mistake: this couple was deaf. However, they did not seem at all bothered by my initial misunderstanding & proceeded to smile as they pointed out their toppings of choice and even spoke a couple words here and there.
For some reason, this was a really poignant moment for me. I was amazed by the beauty of their conversation--their swiftly moving hands & the way they mouthed words to one another. I was amazed that they still spoke a bit to me even though they lacked the ability to "hear" in the normal sense of the word.
As I stood there, it dawned on me how, until this moment, I seem to have taken one of the greatest gifts of life for granted: my voice. I can speak. I can shout. I can whisper. I can laugh. And people will hear me. What an incredible gift...the fact that our own thoughts and emotions can be made clearly known by speaking words to those around us.
But as I stood there & continued to think about all this, I realized that this couple is also blessed with the same gift. They too can speak. They can shout. They can whisper. They can laugh.
On the surface, the means of communication may seem different: talking versus silence. But don't we all look into each others' eyes when we talk to one other? Don't we all use facial expressions to express what we're feeling? Laughter, tears, a smile--all say more than a thousand words ever will. And it is amidst the silence that we come to remember who we really are.