Summary: This sermon centers on the deaf man (verses 31 - 37). Mark shares with us that he experienced 1. Open Ears 2. An Open Heart 3. Open Praise It focuses on how the church must reach out!

Mark 7:24- 37

Theme: Healing Miracles of Jesus

Title: Open Ears, Open Hearts and Open Praise

This sermon centers on the deaf man (verses 31 - 37). Mark shares with us that he experienced 1. Open Ears 2. An Open Heart 3. Open Praise


Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ our Savior and LORD who came to take away the sins of the world!

Her full name was Jeanette Stamper Spencer. Some of her closest friends called her "Nettie". I called her "granny" - "Granny Spencer". She was my Granny on my mother's side.

For quite a number of years she lived in a small trailer about a tenth of a mile from our house. For more years than I can remember one of my siblings or I would take her a meal. We would walk out to granny's trailer, bring her a meal and spend some time talking with her.

At first granny was a lot of fun. She was a little hard of hearing and couldn't see very well but she was able to make the best popcorn you could ever eat. She had this amazing laugh and was just as plain and country as cornbread. She never had a radio or even a T.V. But when you visited her she could shared some of the best stories about life you could ever imagine. I loved to hear her tell her stories.

Towards the end of her life, everything got to be a little more complicated . The last few years she could barely make out shadows and her hearing was all but vanished. She was practically blind and deaf. Looking back now I realize how much strength and courage it took for her to live alone in that little trailer.

It was during this phase of her life that we had to start communicating with her in a rather unusual way. The only way you could get her to come to the door was to knock hard enough so that she could sense the vibrations of door coming through the floor. And she would have to feel your hand or pick up the smell of your clothes or cologne to know your identity. At times she could see some light and shadows but on a cloudy day she couldn't make out basic shapes at all. She was dependent on others being compassionate, honest and sincere.

The only way to talk to her was to have her sit down in her rocking chair while you sat in the little chair that was right beside it. You would take her hand, turn it over palm side up and very slowly spell out letter by letter the message you wanted her to understand. Granny didn't know Braille so this was one of the only ways to communicate with her.

This whole process was time consuming and at times very frustrating. Even simple things like "How are you" "Are you feeling well" "Are you hungry" and "Do you need anything" felt like your were pouring molasses on a piece of bread. At times she would get confused and you would have to start all over again. Both sides - her side and your side needed the patience of Job.

But as exasperating as it was for us - it must have been even more exasperating for her. Slowly and surely her small world was getting more minuscule and minute. She had left a big old house in the country with all this land to live in a tiny old trailer on a small plot of land.

Sadly, in time she lost the ability to be able to walk around the outside of that little trailer because she couldn't hear or see well enough. Then she lost the freedom to maneuver comfortably around the inside of that trailer along with the ability to prepare her own meals. Finally, she had to depend on someone else for practically everything - the cleaning of her clothes, her home and towards the end basic hygiene.

"Granny's" life had been a difficult one. Earlier in life she had lost two husbands - both as a result of tragic circumstances. She had lost a child by way of disease and for a period time because she didn't have the money or means to take care of all her children, she had to watch some of her precious little ones go off to live with other family members. But through it all she held fast and did her best to survive.

The more she lost the ability to see and hear the less she trusted people. She began to experience anxiety attacks constantly believing that people were talking about her and judging her. At times she would get angry because she just knew that if more than one person came to see her that they were saying bad things about her or thought bad things about her. Not being able to see or hear caused her to experience great anxiety and angst.

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