The Gospel According to CODA: Hearing Each Other
Last September, in my monthly round-up of what’s bringing me joy, I shared how much I loved the movie, CODA. The title is not only a musical term but also an acronym for Child of a Deaf Adult. It told the story about a high school student named Ruby who is the hearing child of deaf parents and sister to a deaf brother. We quickly discover, however, that Ruby’s great love is singing—even though no one in her family can hear her.
I was delighted when the film won Best Picture at last month’s Academy Awards. Even better, Troy Kotsur, who played the father, won Best Supporting Actor—the first deaf actor to do so. Before presenter Yuh-Jung Youn called his name as the winner, she signed his name with her hands so that he could “hear” his name read. Then, as Kotsur made his way to the stage, the audience stood, raised their hands, and waved them, which was sign language for “applause.” Everyone chuckled as Yuh-Jung Youn handed him the trophy, and then grabbed it back from him because he needed both hands free to sign. His translator beautifully interpreted Kotsur’s acceptance speech and even teared up as he spoke.
This was a powerful moment where people were making a loving effort to hear each other and to ensure that everyone could hear. It reflected the joy of the film, and how we are all trying to communicate well with those we love.
On Sunday we will enter the Easter season, which is all about celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It is also a 50-day period where we recall how much time he spent with those he loved. They listened to him, and he taught them how to better hear each other, too. Let us enter this season with the intention of truly hearing each other and listening for the voice of God’s Spirit together.
all good things to each of you,