A Bible To Call My Own

A Bible in sign language for Deaf people.

Picture your Bible, the Bible you call your own, and ask of it by what material is it bound?

You may think of cloth, cut and stretched, or of leather, tanned and brown, but the material that really makes up your Bible is sound.

It’s full of letters that form consonants, shapes that form vowels, and when you hear them in your head or pronounce them out loud, those shapes attach meaning to the noise they resound.

But, what am I to do if I am Deaf and you hand me a Bible made up entirely of sound?

My eyes are my world; sight holds my language. What I see is what connects me, vision is my point of vantage.

Scenes swirl around me. People’s faces stick in my mind; the way they stand, the way they move, all these pictures are combined to provide me with meaning derived from what I’m shown. So what I don’t need is your Bible made of sound. What I need is a Bible to call my own!

See, my world is different because I am Deaf.

I use my hands to communicate, my eyes to interpret, my world is of a different model and make because I’m Deaf. Interpreters do their best, but I live in a world not made for me but made for the rest.

Voices babble around me, but I don’t have access. Who is this Jesus? Why do people go to church? The Bible doesn’t make sense. I am lost because a Bible bound in sound is all I possess.

A Text Bible does not help a Deaf person.

I don’t understand because I can’t hear with my eyes of the hope you profess.

But then, a friend handed me a Bible in a different print. This was a new version. Not bound up in inaccessible sound. Encased in my language wrapped up in my point of vantage, a Bible made of sight. A Bible I could be shown. Now, this was a Bible I could call my own.

I devoured these Scriptures, found Jesus to be my Savior, numbered myself as one of his children because the Bible was in my language.

My world was changed and is even now changing. I am now new, and His Word is new daily.

I live for Christ because his voice, I have been shown, for I no longer have your Bible, I have a Bible to call my own.