Finally, after my (gently and not-so-gently) suggesting that he do so for several years, my husband went to an audiologist. After 10 days or so of wearing a test pair of hearing aids, he picked up his permanent pair yesterday. He has some loss of hearing at the upper end of the register and also has a lot of trouble with background noises that interfere with his ability to hear. So, for example, we can have six people to dinner in our home and he has no difficulty participating in the conversation. But, if you put the eight of us in a restaurant, where there are a lot of competing noises, he can’t enjoy himself; it is just too difficult for him to hear what people at the table are saying with all of the background noise.
Hearing aids – which have gotten incredibly sophisticated over the year (but which are not covered by most medical insurance, including ours, but that is another story) – not only amplify sound where needed, but filter out the background noise.
As I was thinking of what a great improvement this will be for Dave, I was reminded of a line in the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass this past Sunday. The Presider said, “As many voices cry out for our attention, may we recognize your voice, saying:” and the people responded, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”
God speaks to us all of the time. Not just to some people, but to all of us. Our problem is hearing him. The “many voices” that “cry out for our attention” often distract us and keep us from hearing where God is calling us, what God is calling us to. The other noises sometimes prevent us from even knowing that God is speaking to us.
We have no magic hearing aid that will filter out the “background noise.” Thus, we need to learn to filter out those noises ourselves. To know that God is always speaking and to be ever vigilent to recognize God’s voice amidst the others.