Speaking the Truth in Love

My Friend Sam

My friend Sam, a Christian brother in West Virginia, is blind, deaf, and mute. His wife called me about 10 years ago, introducing herself and describing Sam’s situation. Judy wondered if I could help them locate Bible-related braille resources. Sam was especially eager to find a copy of the Old Testament. After learning that his wish could easily be granted, Judy sent me an email that said, “Sam will be so, so happy.”

Sam’s longing for the word of God reminded me of Psalm 19. King David believed that the teachings of scripture were “more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold” (v. 10). The Bible is a greater treasure than riches. And why? Money is fleeting. Wealth is an eagle sprouting wings and flying away. But the word of God stands forever. And money is a corrupting influence. The love of money is a bitter root that produces every sort of evil. But God’s word refines and ennobles character.

King David adds that the teachings of scripture are sweeter “than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:10). And why is God’s word more delectable than rich desserts? Excessive sweets make us sick. If we eat too much, we get a stomach ache or even vomit. But God’s word gives us life and health. Besides, sweets nourish only the body, but God’s word strengthens and renews our spirit.

Sam’s yearning for the scriptures suggests a great irony. This deaf-blind man burns with desire for access to the books of the Old Testament. But Christians with perfect vision and hearing often remain ignorant of Old Testament teachings because reading the Gospels is easier. So who is actually blessed – my many friends with good health or my disabled brother in West Virginia? Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

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