10th February 2021

Experiencing God’s grace and mercy

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard…”
1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

Back in the early 1920s radio broadcasting was in its infancy in America. One day in February 1924, New Yorkers gathered around their radios to hear a live performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. There was one listener, however, who didn’t hear a thing; her name was Helen Keller. Even though she couldn’t hear the broadcast, she managed to experience it in her own way. She turned up the radio and reached out to the speaker—literally feeling the cellos, brass and drums with her fingers! Although Helen was blind and deaf, not only did she learn the English language, but she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

This story can get us thinking about the many unique ways that we can experience God’s grace and mercy. Just like Helen Keller, we’re called to draw near, turn up the volume, so to speak, and reach out to receive and interact with God’s grace with all that we are. In so doing, God promises to open our minds to his precious truth and love.

Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, wrote these inspiring words taken from the 64th chapter of Isaiah:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, 
Nor have entered into the heart of man 
The things which God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9).

He made it abundantly clear that, ‘…the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ (verse 14). As Paul said, ‘but God has revealed them to us through his Spirit’ (verse 10).

After explaining the Parable of the Sower to his disciples, Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;” (Matthew 13:16). The disciples’ minds were open to the teachings of Jesus, as opposed to the scribes and Pharisees, whose minds were closed.

Helen Keller’s inability to see and hear was of a physical nature, although she didn’t let these limitations prevent her from accomplishing much in the course of her long life. The Christian’s ability to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the things of God are spiritually discerned, and it’s all down to God’s grace, which he generously lavishes on us! 

Father, we thank you for the life of Helen Keller, whose example, even today, is an inspiration to many. We especially thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit who enables us to ‘see’ the spiritual things of God. In Jesus’ name.

Study by John Magowan



About the writer:
John Magowan is a member of  Lisburn Grace Communion church, Northern Ireland.

Local congregation:
Lisburn Grace Communion
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road
BT27 5PG

Meeting time:
Sunday 11am

Local congregational contact:
Bob Beggs
Phone: 07836 613686
Email:  bobbeggs@hotmail.com

Word of Life Contact:
Email: wordoflife@gracecom.church