People commonly believe accident, illness, or just aging can lead to loss of hearing and other key functions. It’s the topic of medical studies, media reports and casual conversations. We can be led to accept prognoses about our health and unwittingly buy into them. Yet, in many cases this “common belief” is today being challenged. A growing number of studies indicate we can each reframe how we see our health — including bringing spirituality and prayer into how we view things — and, thus, experience better wellbeing.
This makes sense. In some ways, we might say the world of medicine and health is “rediscovering” what the Bible, especially the teachings and works of Jesus, has shared with us for thousands of years. It tells us when we understand God and man as God’s image — whole and perfect — we can maintain our faculties late into life and even restore them — as Jesus did for others.
I’ve experienced, through my own Christian prayers and practice, how God cares for our health. For example, during a few months this winter and spring I experienced a disconcerting partial loss of ability to hear in one ear. It was as though I was wearing a really ineffective earplug. The condition was not painful, but I was forced to put extra effort into listening when someone was talking.
Like most of us, I receive endless advertisements of various hearing devices, and I was aware I could also see a hearing specialist. However, the Bible tells us God is talking to us at all times, and I decided I wanted to listen more to what God was saying rather than find out what hearing aide manufacturers or a hearing specialist might conclude.
I needed to make a more concerted effort, when conversing with someone, to really listen to them and to be receptive to God’s message, because I knew God is the spiritual source of both the speaker and the listener.
In my Bible study, I remembered this message in the Old Testament: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the lord hath made even both of them,” (Proverbs 20:12. And, this one about Moses at age 120: his “eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). I also knew Jesus healed cases of deafness (See Mark 8:31-37.) along with many other maladies, and he instructed his disciples how to heal. As a modern day follower of his words and works, I know he promises, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my father” (John 14:12).
A book that helps tremendously in my study and understanding of the practical spiritual message in the Bible is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. In it she writes, “There is more Christianity in seeing and hearing spiritually than materially” (page 487:7). That gave me a clue as to where I should focus my thought as I prayed about this problem. Perhaps listening to hear the substance or meaning of what each individual is saying is more important than just hearing the words physically. It’s one way, I realized, to express greater love to those with whom I come into contact.
It took some patience on my part to not immediately react to something that sounded disagreeable or irrelevant, for I felt part of truly listening was trusting God to also guide me in responding.
This line of prayer and more spiritually based listening really made sense, so I continued the effort to practice it in a sustained way day by day. Then, one day as I was praying, but not particularly thinking about the ear or hearing, I felt a great POP in that ear, and instantly I could hear clearly and easily.
My hearing has remained great ever since. Additionally, I feel I learned a real lesson in the art of truly listening to God and to others that I can use going forward. No matter my age or predictions about the health of my ears, I can experience in a practical way how God cares for my health.
Steep Weiss is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Carson City, Nevada at 110 Clear Creek Avenue. See christianscience.com and Christian Science Church, Carson City on Facebook.