Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable. (David Augsburger)
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
(1 John 4:18-19MSG)
It was sweet Miss Mary from Jamaica who taught me that sign language is indeed that – a language all its own. It is not merely an accommodation or an alternative to using vocal chords to speak. Rather, it is a beautifully nuanced voice of its own, filled with pitch and inflection and tenor. And when that voice is given an opportunity to be heard, there are miracles.
Micaela’s tiny body had been ravaged at the hands of male family members who were certain no one would ever discover their dark secret. Born unable to hear or speak, her silence was the perfect accompaniment to their repeated violent sexual abuse.
Miraculously, she was rescued and placed at an orphanage quietly tucked away on a Guatemalan hillside. It was there, in that safe place filled with love, that her body – and her heart – began to heal. Love calmed her fears as Micaela learned to speak with her hands. Love cheered as sign language became her mouthpiece. She testified in court against her abusers using her mouthpiece of justice.
Love continued to cheer as Micaela found another language for her hands. She picked up a paintbrush and began speaking through strokes on the canvas. In her paintings, she told stories of adventure and romance and overcoming.
Her work is now displayed in the National Palace in Guatemala – and on the wall that greets folks who visit our home. Every time I look at the painting, I am reminded of love’s delight in giving us our voices. I can hear love cheer.
Love delights in you too, you know. Love can’t wait to calm your fears and hear your voice. Speak. I promise. Love is listening.
You come around and make me wanna sing
You make me wanna sing my fears away
Here among the clouds
We are safe and sound
(Lift Me Up, Mree)
Enjoy the playlist. xoxo
You’ve read what love looks like to me. What does it look like to you? Or is love something you are still longing to know? Let me know – I want to share in your story, and I want to pray with and for you.
Did hope find you this Advent season? Here’s the story.
Make Advent a tradition in your home. Purchase a copy of “for you love: the advent collection.” Thoughtful words along with beautiful images and illustrations (and its own playlist inspired by hymns of old) are available now on Amazon. And “for you love,” the prayer journal that invites you to respond, is on sale for a limited time only at WordPainters!