Monday, May 02, 2011

The Significance of Senses Ruth Smith Meyer

A dear woman in our congregation is half way through her 99th year. Eleanor is blessed not only with an avid interest in life and in people around her, she is filled with a spirit of kindness and she also has a liberal gift of spunk.

When I looked up that last word in my flip dictionary to see if I could find a better word to describe her I found the following words; backbone, courage, determination, doggedness, fortitude, get up and go, gleam, grit, gumption, guts, heart, liveliness, mettle, moxie, nerve, passion, pluck, spark, spirit. Yes, she has all of those, so spunk is exactly the word to describe her!

For many years, she lived alone in her own house in the city. Just in recent years she changed to a senior’s apartment in our small village and began to come to our church. Faithful in her attendance, she always has a kind word for all she meets and such a positive attitude toward life. In her 98th year, she began to mention that she isn’t quite as spry as she used to be and apologized for not so readily recognizing people because of her eyesight. Finally she also acknowledged that she barely hears anything that is being said at church because of her hearing loss. No one had realized for she kept coming each Sunday without fail. When we expressed our empathy and told her how sorry we were, she said “Oh well, that’s alright, I just like being here on a Sunday morning.”

Once we were aware of her need, we set the wheels in motion to get her an audio aid for hearing. One Sunday she was fitted with the new hearing device before the service began. You should have seen her face! Afterward she actually beamed when asked if it helped. “I heard every word,” she rejoiced. There’s been an extra glow in her ever since.

This made me conscious of more than the five senses we usually talk about. For writers and for readers the sense of sight is of vital importance. We are not alone in this. But for lovers of the printed word to not be able to read would be a great loss. It is difficult to imagine my day without being able to read something. It is even harder to imagine being restricted in both sight and hearing.

Vital as those senses are, there’s another that we all need and crave--the sense of belonging, the sense of being a part of something, and for followers of Jesus, a sense of being a part of the body of Christ, the church. That sense is just as or even more vital to our self-worth and nourishment as the other five. Of course, sight, hearing, touch can be the vehicle to make it all real, just as that audio device assisted Eleanor.

As I was contemplating my feelings about the plans for launching Second Cup of Hot Apples Cider in the coming months, I realized that those activities—even the ones across Canada that I won’t be able to attend but of which I am aware—and I perceive that being a part of this exciting new book draws me into another part of this body. It gives me a sense of belonging, of purpose in a joint venture, a feeling of partnership and a great deal of pleasure.

But so does another part of God’s kingdom—The Word Guild. Together, each doing our part, under God’s direction we can make a difference in our world through our words.

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Ruth, thank you for this '3-D' account - a delightful story of a delightful lady, who evidently delights herself in the Lord!
A remarkable soul, for sure, who received a warm welcome and found her place of belonging in your congregational fellowship.

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