By Robert Halsey Pine
“And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21 NRSV)
The importance of hearing in our natural bodies is priceless. Our ears signal to us messages from the world around us – messages that convey beauty and love, but also warn us of trouble. This week I experienced a blessing in my natural hearing, a Cochlear Sound-processor, a Kanso-2 device.
My Cochlear implant and sound-processor have been lifesaving. I lost total hearing in one ear as a result of a 1993 brain tumor surgery, and the other ear declined gradually over a few years. In 2015, I received the surgical implant connecting to the brain’s receiver of sound at the Pappas Ear Clinic in Birmingham.
First, the surgeon puts a receiver under your skin on the side of your head through a small cut. The receiver is connected to electrodes, which they’ll put into a part of your brain’s inner ear called the cochlea. The surgery takes an hour or two, and you go home the same day. One to two weeks after the procedure, the doctor will fit your speech processor. You wear the processor, which is magnetically placed on your head. The processor may be paired with other devices you use, like an iPhone, iPad or television, so you can speak and hear directly in all forms of communication. They have rechargeable batteries. A cochlear implant sends signals to the auditory nerve directly. These devices have two parts. One part, the receiver-stimulator, is placed under your skin through surgery. The other, the speech processor, you wear as it is magnetized to your head.
The whole process and use is a miracle of modern technology.
While this Cochlear implant is an answered prayer and grants me the ability to hear that I once lost, it is imperative that we hear God’s voice to guide us throughout life. Life is full of noise – loud, boisterous distractions designed to muddle our hearing and drown out God’s word. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, God reveals to Elijah that He is not present in the noise and chaos of life, but rather His word comes to us in a still small voice.
Just as we prioritize our natural hearing, hearing God’s voice spiritually should arise as an equally important necessity in our daily lives. Likewise, as we have faith to hear Him, we as believers should have faith that He hears us and answers our prayers.
I John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.”
My prayers were answered this week, and God heard my voice, reminding me that if I listen, I will hear Him as well.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.