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Deaf and Dumb, but WHO?

Big transition of our drop in this past week from Salvation Army Gladstone Street to Dominion Chalmers U/C on Lisgar.  For those who aren’t aware of this prestigous United Church, have a look at photos at  A remarkable, extrememly well kept, renovated, bright, cheery place – exactly the kind of place that our street friends deserve to come into for a meal, refreshment and friendship.

Switching from Wednesday to Tuesday and the first of the month when all the cheques are out, and when it is absolutely beautiful and sunny, attendance was a bit low.  But, every person is important, and our gift is to come alongside those who are given to us on any day.

I had seen Jacques several times but never had a chance to sit and visit until today.  Add to that, Jacques can neither hear nor speak.  So I sat across the table and tried to communicate, thinking he might read lips or we could have some sort of communication.  He clearly indicated some things to me, one of which was he was not interested in trying to communicate with me (at least in my clumsy manner).  I was at a loss, until I looked at the white napkin in front of me, and then caught a glimpse of a pen that my neighbour had placed next to her book.  DUH!!

I picked up the pen and napkin and wrote a sentence of welcome.

The transformation was immediate and eagerly accepted.  After a few pen exchanges, I went and found some loose leaf and we spent the next while going back and forth, writing like we were age old friends.

Jacques told me days, dates and years of significant events in his life.  We talked about the drop in and answered questions that he had since he came through our doors some time ago.  Of where he lived, how it was hard to live on ODSP, how old he was, where he was raised and more…

It was refreshing, even exhilerating!  I had a friend to talk with, and so did he.

We get so busy with things – and I would be one of the worst offenders.  This and that call for immediate attention and we can neglect or overlook the gifts of beauty in the people around us.  This is clearly my story with Jacques. 

I wonder who the deaf and dumb one really is.

 I don’t know why I didn’t think of writing before, but I am thank God that I thought of it this week.

And I thank God for my new friend – my note pal.

I wonder what riches we will uncover as we develop our friendship?  I am really looking forward to more.

God help us to slow down and see the opportunities that present themselves to all of us each day.

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