To some he is Jesus. To others Yesu. To some 耶稣.
To one group his name is never heard, only signed as their finger touches palm in reference to his nail beaten hands. Although the name of Christ has never vibrated past their eardrums, to the deaf this name above all names is no less powerful, no less awe invoking because it is unheard.
It was my privilege to spend last night worshiping with the deaf church of Gran Canaria, Spain. Delightfully genuine hugs and embarassingly passionate smiles were lavished on us as soon as we stepped through the door. To most we would have been considered strangers, to them.. priceless family.
The night began with a song of praise to our most Beloved. I witnessed my first 'unsung' song led by the Pastor's beautiful wife who was also deaf. Never before have I seen such passion radiate from a worshiper. The whole room was heavy with an inexplicable joy so thick you could almost reach out and grab it amidst off beat claps and expressive stomping dance. Jesus was in that place last night. I could feel his ravishing pleasure smiling over his most lovely poetry.
We completed our simple dramas and painting, exchanged everlasting goodbye embraces, and floated out of the tiny building into the crisp, late night island air. Although the plan had been to encourage this little church family, I left more humbled, challenged, and excited than by anything I've yet seen in Europe.
My little, dark human heart never ceases to expand and burst with the light of worship as time and time again I see the amazing grace of Christ evidenced in the weakness of those he existed to die for. His name will be glorified for all of time in every language and culture, even in those never heard or spoken. His name cannot help but transcend every difficulty, weakness, and pain this world can ever boast to hand out.
Now, I sit in a plane flying along the coast of Africa on to my next adventure. The night is black darkness broken up by fog wisps rolling through its exhaustive expanse. As my tired eyes look out the window next to me, a brilliantly huge and glowing full moon shines down on the vast coast. Tiny pinpoints of city light valiantly throw their glow upwards seemingly unaware of just how feeble their light is compared to the shining ornament so masterfully hung in the sky above them.
For these few moments time stands still, and it is only me, the night sky, and our God. As I get lost in the silvery moon brilliance I am reminded of the expansive love of the Creator for his tiny creation. He has placed reminders all around us and it is through these love letters I am inspired to join with all creation and express (whether heard or not) my adoration of the One who first adored me.