Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Audism, Struggles and Growth

Audism basically means those who discriminate or stereotyping against Deaf culture or hearing-impaired individuals. Audism means a system of practice, behavior, belief, or attitude. In the deaf culture, calling someone an audist is akin to calling someone a racist. People who have audist attutides are considered to be audists. Many of us are sharing our insights from our first-hand experiences with deafness. Often when we think of the disabled, we often think only of those who are in wheelchairs or are otherwise, visible physically impaired. However, the word can also refer to the deaf community, though many deaf persons do not consider themselves to be disabled. Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Mostly, we deal with socially and professionally disabled more than deafness.

Many disability obstacles such as discrimination, attitudes, ignorance, stereotyping, or alienation are still around by all of us whether we realized them or not. Stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions leap into one’s mind. Stereotyping has created by showing incorrect judgment of a possibility by making people into stereotypes that leads to myths. Audism, like racism and sexism, is discrimination against deaf and hearing-impaired individuals. However, I do acknowledge that there is a significant difference between ignorance and audism. Nowadays, it is hard to tell the difference but I believe that with today's technology and disability discrimination laws that are out there, there should not be any ignorance. My only conclusion is that people are doing audism rather than being ignorant.

In spirit, the purpose of Christianity with disabilities is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life. Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”

A Christian who is rooted deeply and very fruitful, who concentrates on the eternal root system of his or her life is going to bear fruit upward, but if he or she concentrates on the eye-appealing temporal things, he or she may end up a rootless failure. A person who is elated by success and is cast down by failure is still a carnal Christian. At best, his or her fruit will have a worm in it. God's timing is infallible. He takes every factor and contingency into account. We often want to pluck unripe fruit, but He will not be pressured into premature action. A mature Christian disciple will not stumble because of apparently unanswered prayer. A mature Christian disciple will not, however, adopt a fatalistic attitude when he or she examine his or her prayers and seek to discover the cause of failure.

Jesus said in John 15:1-2, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." With the Holy Spirit and love, we can and will walk in the Spirit because Christ produces the fruit in us through His GRACE. In "the sufficiency of God’s grace" in the worst of human circumstances is that when a person is weak in a temporal sense while the person is strong spiritually by God's Grace in eternal sense.

Jesus also said in John 15:5, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing." Carlo Carretto explained it nicely, “We are the wire, God is the current. Our only power is to let the current pass through us”. We must remember that we are still in the flesh even though we have Christ in us. It is the Holy Spirit's conviction that God’s design for us is to be radically transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2) Our hope for this radical transformation is by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13). With the Holy Spirit and love, I will walk in the Spirit, Christ produces the fruit. It is Christ through the Holy Spirit produces power, love, sound mind through us. Christ helps us. Without Christ, we are nothing. Our faith is not in our works. Our faith is the generator of our works. Faith produces works. Works reveal faith or the lack of it. Being is expressed in doing. Faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit, without the Holy Spirit, we can't have faith and without the Holy Spirit, we can't be spiritual. Faith will express itself in faith deeds not just words alone. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

In my own experiences, God lead me to what I call "coincidences" in my life which perhaps God will make sure that His wills will be done at His right time and place. God will yet have His way while at the same time, as responsible forgiven sinner, I also must make my choices in any situations I may face. Often I make decisions when I think that they are part of God's will however, circumstances will make me change directions. Someone has said “Life is God’s novel. Let Him write it.” (Isaac Bashevis Singer). My life is like a pencil in God’s hand, He does the writing and the pencil has nothing to do with God’s writing. We often try to alter our circumstances to satisfy ourselves, instead of letting God alter us. God does not desire to destroy our will, but to sanctify “our will into His will”.

The circumstances surrounding our lives are no accident: they may be the work of evil, but that evil is held firmly within the mighty hand of our sovereign God. We are to allow the Holy Spirit do what He will through us and see what He does with us. God tests His real disciples more severely than lukewarm ones.

True life is:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way? The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases. I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 20:24, Proverbs 21:1, Jeremiah 10:23, Romans 8:28-29, Matthew 10:29-30)

Our faith should recognize the fact that God is in control of our lives. Whether we believe it or not, it's a fact that God is in control of the world. If we don't believe it, we are just robbing ourselves of the enjoyment of the fact.

1 comment:

MM said...

If I am brutally honest, I am fed up with hearing (!) about audism, or any ism really. Life was much easier and less discriminatory when I were a lad ! Now whenever I go somewhere hearing people usually go, I have to carry a dictionary with me..... there is always a chance some of them will exhibit a new ism deaf haven't invented yet.....