“True faith is never found alone; it is accompanied by expectation.” C.S. Lewis
I just got home from spending an hour interpreting for a deaf man at his company meeting. As I was driving home, I was thinking back on the crazy journey of learning sign language.
When my much younger friend, Danielle and I decided to forge ahead and begin signing classes together, we had absolutely no idea where it was going to take us. We didn’t know any deaf people and we were completely ignorant of the deaf culture. We didn’t anticipate the intense amount of work that was involved and we saw no opportunities to use the language. We also didn’t know each other very well. ( I humbly liken it to the biblical story of Noah, when he started building a huge ark on land, with no water in sight, no rain predicted and his friends questioning his sanity.)
Despite all the unknowns, both Danielle and I had a peace in our hearts about committing to this adventure. It wasn’t very complicated…we both loved sign language and we both wanted to get to know each other. We went to classes once a week for three years, which took us through eleven levels of signing. It was a step of faith. We hoped that God would use us in some way but we certainly couldn’t see the big picture and how all of this learnin’ was going to become useful.
Suzanne was our first deaf teacher. We met her in ASL (American Sign Language) class 101 and we have been good friends ever since. She can tell some really funny stories about watching me learn to sign – some ASL signs are dangerously similar to some everyday rude motions! The perils of learning a new language, right?
Suzanne and her husband, Harry had been looking for a church to attend and as Danielle and I began spending more time with this couple, the idea was birthed that our church could start a deaf ministry… and that’s what happened. Little did we know – three years earlier – that stepping out into the unknown, anticipating something good, would result in such a tangible way of serving others.
I want to be a person who expects good things from God… not demanding but expecting… anticipating… hoping…