Serving Deaf

I’ve started and stopped writing about this several times now. I’m just not good at what I so admire in other people. And being here brings out my insecurities surrounding it.

Since the first day I got to the Home, I’ve been touched by the ways people serve. They are serving people on a macro level — the community, its orphans, adoptive families in the US. But many here are so good at serving in more micro ways.

On Sunday morning, a man showed up in the kitchen with money in hand. He handed it off, speaking quickly in Chinese and mentioning something about Ted. We smiled and tried to communicate with him, but nothing really seemed to be working. We later found out he was deaf… And the money? It was a donation for, from what I could see, the equivalent of about 50 US dollars. I’m making an assumption here, but since this man was deaf, I can’t imagine he makes very much money in this country.

He hung around for a while, and Bev said it was okay for him to feed the babies. He fed several, then disappeared for a while. And then he was back. To hold crying babies. To feed babies. To change babies. To swing outside on the swing with babies. He was here all day, quietly serving.

Thinking now, I’m not sure what possible motives he could have had beyond a desire to serve. He wasn’t here to hang out and talk, because he can’t hear. He wasn’t here to be praised and thanked, because he can’t hear. He showed up with a donation in hand and met a need — to care for the babies.

There are many more here who serve daily, tirelessly, humbly, and joyfully. They serve to serve. Not to benefit themselves.

And I’m not really one of them. My joy dwindles often. My energy is rarely too high. I need praise to keep going. Here’s an honest statement: I’m not great at serving in many ways, and I want to be better.

Maybe we should all serve deaf. No need to wait around to hear the praise and admiration of others for the great works we’ve done.

From the passage when Jesus washes the disciples’ feet…

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. [John 13:12-17]


2 thoughts on “Serving Deaf

  1. I think you and I are learning some of the same things, Natalie. At least I hope I am learning. I once heard it said that if we do a good deed, and then feel the need to tell someone, it is no longer a good deed–it is just a selfish deed for our own saisfaction. I too am learning to serve those who really need help. Bev, who was formerly my next door neighbor here at Summit Pointe, is moving back here. She is legally blind and uses a white cane. She has a cat and a dog. They are very important to her as she is very lonely and sometimes depressed. Sometimes the dog is a little messy in the hallways, but I thought I can put up with that because I can sense what it would be like to walk even a short distance in her shoes. One day she needed help in finding her door key because she had put it in a place other than the usual. There is also a woman here who is nearly blind and needs help reading the menus for each meal. Surely I can do that. I don’t need praise–I just feel good about helping these two. I’m sure you get warm, cozy feelings too. LUL, Grandma M.

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