Blind Date

My life was turned upside down by God when He used my then future wife to witness to me. At the time I was living as an atheist, minding my own business and working hard. I was physically active with tennis and ping pong, and I played chess. I was not actively dating anyone, but at my work place, the wife of a match-making couple “pestered” me about meeting a nice girl her husband knew at his work place. She said the girl was hearing-impaired like myself, loved cats, not a “religious fanatic”, and lived in a mobile home. Meanwhile, her husband told my future date that I was hearing impaired like herself, played tennis and chess. The reminders finally got to the point where I gave up all resistance and took the nice girl’s phone number. I was to call and make a date.

In those younger days of our lives, my future wife and I both could hear better than nowadays. With our hearing-aids we could almost hear 100% on the phone. Those days being a long time ago, a phone meant a “land line”. There was no internet, no emails and no mobile phones. We didn’t know about TTY’s for the Deaf so all we had were phones. So using a land-line phone was the only way for me to contact her and setup a “blind date”.

When the big day came around, I apprehensively drove my VW Rabbit into her mobile home park. Images of women with many cats running all over their mobile homes somehow came to mind. I ignored those worries since she supposedly worked with the husband of the co-worker I knew. I rationalized that my blind date couldn’t be all that bad. As it turned out she had only one cat.

We enjoyed an evening out eating at a fancy restaurant. Back then, people more than likely dressed up and so were we dressed up. Almost formal, I in my business suit, she in a nice blue dress. I guess that’s to be expected for blind dates. Anyway we had a nice dinner and then we went to see a movie. After the movie I was to take her home, but then we stopped for ice-cream. It was there that my date introduced me to people from her church. Still, no “fire alarms” went off because it was totally accidental, or so I thought, but God had other plans for me. Afterwards I dropped my date off and said goodbye. We both agreed to keep in touch.

Back at home I somehow began to feel different. It was nice knowing a girl who was also deaf, and hearing-impaired like myself. It made things easier when it came to talking because we both took the time to make it work. I decided to call for another visit, but since it would be Sunday, she didn’t have all that much time. I could stop and visit her at her trailer. We got to talking and enjoyed talking because it was with someone who “understood” the challenge of being hearing-impaired. She finally got around to sharing her own experience as a hearing-impaired person, and H-O-W  G-O-D  S-O  H-E-L-P-E-D her. Faith, church, fellow believers all helped her with her challenge of being deaf and hearing-impaired. Somehow there were no “fire alarms” for this atheist. Somehow her experiences, her story, her witness, spoke truth to me. She ended our visit by presenting me with several Gospel tracts. (Remember this was before emails, e-books and blogging.) I declined to take them, but a spark from the Holy Spirit in her must have entered my heart. I was no longer being pestered by my co-worker, but now I was “pestered” by a persistant desire to know more about my date’s faith. Thus began the first cracks in my atheist’s armor.

I struggled with the idea of knowing God and His Son Jesus. My parents took all of us to church, and so I was at least familiar with the Gospel. Since I was deaf, or hearing-impaired with hearing aids, church had not been a hospitable place for me. So by the time I got into college, I was a full-blown atheist. Now I was again wondering how I could become a believer in Jesus. I read the Bible my parents gave me when I was very young. I read some passages and my heart burned with emotion about the need to be born again.

John 3:1-7 ‘1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 The same came to him by night, and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Most assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, {The word translated “anew” here and in John 3:7 (anothen) also means “again” and “from above”.} he can’t see the Kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Don’t marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.”‘ (WEB)

Everyone is born of water, but there can also be a second birth by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had entered me and opened my eyes to the truth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. My atheism wavered as I saw the world for the first time in its Godly beauty and in its fallen state, filled with the evils of Sin. That understanding tugged deeply at my heart. I took long walks and wondered, for example, about the random yet orderly and planned, branching of trees. Old trees, older than myself, stood in silent sentry for God’s creation. Everywhere I looked, there was God’s Design. I was once blind, but now I could see. Contrary to my co-worker’s assurances, my date was strong of faith, but I’ve since come to know the truths she lived for her existence and person. We continued dating and as I grew in love for her, I struggled to know for certain if both loves were real and true.

[End Part One of Two]




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