Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Proverbs from A to Z - O

O is for Open - (meditation by Pam)

Source: flickr.com

Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

Thanks to my friend Steve, those who are deaf hold a special place in my heart. Born with profound hearing loss, Steve was sent away to school at the age of two. At 19, he returned home to the tiny town where his parents lived.

Neither Steve’s father nor his mother learned sign language. Though Steve couldn’t even hear a car horn blowing beside him, his parents were convinced that if they shouted loud enough, he would hear. Understandably, moving back home was very frustrating for Steve.

I met Steve at church. He attended regularly, depending heavily on lip reading. Steve always carried a pad and pencil, writing down what he wanted to say and asking others to do the same.

Many people in the town feared Steve. He was a big man with many frustrations. Though I never witnessed it, several people warned, “Steve’s got a bad temper.”

God filled me with a desire to help Steve. I learned that the local university offered classes in Sign Language and signed up. As I gained confidence in my signing ability, I forged a friendship with Steve. Delighted, he began stopping by the house. He often brought candy to our son, always requiring him to sign “Thank you!” or “More candy, please.”

I invited Steve for supper. I left him and my husband to “chat” while I cleaned up the dishes. Afterward Dick said, “Guess I should learn some basic sign language, too. How about teaching a class at church?”

Forty people wanted to learn! As a result, Steve secured a job and gained acceptance in the church and community. I never dreamed the sign language classes would open so many doors for Steve.

God asks us to open our mouths for those who have no voice. Even a small effort on our part can make a major difference in another’s life. In what situation is God asking you to open your mouth and speak for one in need?

Reflection on Proverb by Pam Williams, member of 1st Writes. Her blog is 2 Encourage.


  1. This is such an encouraging story!!! Forty people signed up for the class? Wow. I have a friend who signs during singing at church, not because she's deaf but because it is one way she expresses her worship. I'm a visiting A-Z blogger and new follower.

    1. We had a lady who signed for our contemporary service at church. It was so beautiful to watch.

  2. I am visiting from the a-z challenge. This is a beautiful post...just beautiful. I have a sister in law who is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids. She was born deaf and so this post touched me.


    1. Thank you, Melody-Mae! Many blessings to you, too!

  3. Pam, Wonderful story. I love that the action that you took had such far-reaching consequences.

    1. Thanks, Dawn. Steve is a special man through whom God brought many blessings.