“I was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, a little town of northern Alabama. The beginning of my life was simple and much like every other little life. I came, I saw, I conquered, as the first baby in the family always does. They tell me I walked the day I was one year old. These happy days did not last long. One brief spring, musical with the song of robin and mocking-bird, one summer rich in fruit and roses, one autumn of gold and crimson sped by and left their gifts at the feet of an eager, delighted child. Then in the dreary month of February, came the illness, which closed my eyes and ears and plunged me into the unconsciousness of a new-born baby. They called it acute congestion of the stomach and brain.”
Those are a few excerpts from a book that Helen Keller wrote about her life. At the age of nineteen months Helen Keller was shut off from all sight and all sound and as a result could not speak. I was at the library a while back when I came across this book. As I read the introduction and part of the first chapter I was so overwhelmed by what happened to her. Maybe the reason I felt so connected to it was because I'm a parent; to think that one of my own sons could wake up one day and no longer have the ability to see or hear anything really impacted me.
I thought about my sons not being able to hear me say, “I love you”. I thought about my sons not being able to hear the door open and get all excited because they knew that sound meant that dad was home. I thought about them not being able to speak to tell me what they're feeling. I thought about the confused look that might be on their face because they could no longer hear sounds or see mom and dad. I thought about the fear that might overtake them when all they could ever experience was complete and utter darkness. As I thought about those things I was stuck by something else. I began to wonder how many of us feel that way every day of our lives?
Not many of us have experienced what Helen Keller experienced in the physical sense, but I would venture to say that all of us have experienced it in the spiritual sense. You know if you've experienced this because you've thought things like..
“I don’t feel like God is listening to me.”
“I don’t feel like God can hear me when I pray.”
“I don’t think God even notices me because He has so many other bigger more important things to worry about.”
“I don’t feel like God ever speaks to me.”
Just like Helen Keller felt cut off from everything around her and probably felt very alone you and I often feel cut off from God and very alone. But how, how can we possibly feel cut off and not connected to a God that is all-powerful and huge beyond our wildest dreams? How can we not feel connected to the God who tells us in the book of Deuteronomy that He will never leave us or forsake us.
How is that we don’t feel connected to God? Let me tell you something that I hope you never forget, something that I hope you will take with you no matter where you go in life: If you ever feel like you're not connected to God or like He’s not communicating with you, it’s not because He isn’t speaking, it’s because you’re not listening.