The Lost Hearing Aid

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. – Jesus, as quoted in Luke 15:10 (NIV)

I couldn’t find my hearing aid. And for once, I was about to get out the door on time. But when I reached into the black pouch where I keep the device when I’m not wearing it, it wasn’t there.

I checked all the places I could have put it down: the breakfast bar, the vanity top in the bathroom, the mirrored tray in the bedroom, the lamp table beside the love seat where I sit in the evenings. I emptied my purse. I checked the pockets of the jeans and jacket I wore Monday evening, when I’d last used it. Nothing.

Panic set in. Not only did I have a haircut appointment, but I also had half a dozen errands to run, errands that entailed talking with people.

“I can’t go without my hearing aid,” I muttered, emptying my purse for the second time. “I won’t hear anything anyone says to me today.”

Not being able to hear was only one aspect of my concern. The other was that the hearing aid would be expensive to replace. But what could I do? I’d already scoured the house. I’d just have to explain to everyone what happened, ask them to speak louder – and to pray. 

When I returned home later in the afternoon, I had less than an hour before I had to leave for town again to help set up for Saturday’s Punxsutawney Christian Women’s Conference. I popped a pizza in the oven for supper, put away the groceries and searched the house again. 

For some reason, all day I’d been thinking about a bag of garbage I took out to the shed on Tuesday. I had a feeling burning the garbage was on Dean’s do-list for the evening, so I lugged the bag to the back deck and began emptying it, one yucky item at a time. Only six relatively clean objects later, I found the missing hearing aid.


I brushed off hazelnut coffee grounds, rinsed the ear mold, plugged it in my ear, and turned it on. After being in the garbage bag for three days, it worked just fine! I must have put it on the breakfast bar Monday night, when I’d come home exhausted, and forgot about it. Dean came home the next day after work and dropped the mail where he usually does – on the breakfast bar, where the hearing aid lay. Apparently it got mixed in with the junk mail that I tossed in the garbage.

Everyone I met Thursday evening got the story of the lost-and-found hearing aid. I wanted to share my joy.

So it was in heaven the day I decided to follow Jesus. I, too, had been lost, buried in the trash of life and headed for the burn pile. But God removed the junk that covered me and cleaned me so I could do what I was created to do and fulfill His purpose for me.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!”

Lord, I pray there’s rejoicing in heaven right now because the lost are being found. Show me what I can do to keep the rejoicing going strong. Amen.

Read and reflect on Luke 15.

From God, Me, & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved. 

Image by shatishira from Pixabay

The Potter and Me

Photo in public domain

But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me thus?” Has the potter no right over the clay?—Romans 9:20-21(RSV)

I once saw a pottery-making demonstration. I watched, fascinated, while the potter’s deft fingers formed a pitcher from a lump of ugly brown clay.

“Have you ever encountered stubborn clay?” I asked her afterwards. “You know, when the clay won’t let you do what you want to do with it?”

“Oh, yes,” she said, nodding vigorously. “When the clay is too wet or when it’s too dry.”

When the clay is too wet, she explained, it just flops around. The solution is to place it on a porous surface, such as concrete, and let the excess water drain out. Clay that’s too dry, she went on, is too stiff and cracks. Adding water and letting it permeate the clay should solve the problem.

Either way, the potter has to wait until the clay is ready and the texture is just right before she can begin to fashion it into the vessel she envisions.

“Have you ever had clay so stubborn that, no matter what you did, it still did what it wanted to do?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” she said, selecting a rectangular, concave dish, greenish gray in color, from the display and holding it out for me to see. Raised designs in the shallow bowl adorned the center.

She had intended to make a vase, but the clay wouldn’t rise up into the walls. So, not wanting to waste the clay, she fashioned the stubborn lump into the dish she now held before me.

I bought it. To remind me of my own stubborn self. To remind me that God has to knead me into the right texture before He can begin to fashion me into the vessel He has planned.

I am clay that is too wet when I feel defeated and discouraged. When I’m tired of fighting to move forward and I just don’t want to take another step. When I feel dwarfed by someone else’s accomplishments. When I think all my effort is for nothing. Or when I feel unappreciated and used and taken for granted and invisible. So I kind of flop down and don’t do anything.

I’m clay that’s too dry when I’m stiff-necked and refuse to obey, even when God’s will is clear. After all, His way may not lead to Blessings Highway, Happiness Lane, or Prosperity Road. So I resist. But the pain, disappointment, and heartbreak will mold me into what He wants me to be. But I don’t want any more pain, disappointment, and heartbreak. I’ve taken all I can stand.

“What disturbs us in this world,” Alexander Maclaren wrote more than one hundred years ago, “is not ‘trouble,’ but our opposition to trouble. The true source of all that frets and irritates, and wears away our lives, is not in external things, but in the resistance of our wills to the will of God expressed in external things.” (Joy and Strength, compiled by Mary Wilder Tileston © 1929)

If I continue in my stubbornness, God will still find a use for me, although it will not be what He originally intended. I don’t want that. I want His number one plan for me – because that’s His best.

So I’ll keep my clay dish in a place where I’ll see it everyday – so it can remind me that, as I am kneaded into the right texture and thrown onto the wheel of life, the hand of the Potter is shaping me into the vessel He has planned.

When I get impatient or discouraged, Lord, remind me that making a vessel is a multi-step process that requires time – and my cooperation. Amen.

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 18:1–6

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.