How to Love Your Deaf Neighbor

I noticed Michelle for several reasons. In addition to her beauty and penchant for bright colors, I’d never seen her at church before, and she sat alone in the front row. When I introduced myself, I learned why Michelle sat up front: She was Deaf. She also read lips. A few weeks later, I invited Michelle to pick blueberries with me. Would we be able to communicate? I wondered with trepidation as I picked her up.

Michelle’s First Impression of Me 

I thought, Here we go again when Paula approached me after a sermon.

Most people have one of two reactions when they realize I’m Deaf: they either want to quickly leave the conversation as they seem intimidated, or they’re so fascinated by my deafness that they only seem interested in that part of me.

Although Paula did ask about my deafness, she genuinely showed interest in knowing who I am. I remember thinking, This woman isn’t intimidated by my being Deaf (or at least she doesn’t show it). She was one of the few who kept making a genuine effort each week.

15 Ways to Love Your Deaf Neighbor

We never would’ve known at that first blueberry-picking adventure just how much life we would experience together. We now share kid duty, the kitchen table, and the highs and lows of daily life together.

Today Michelle and I are sharing several ideas to better equip you to love your Deaf neighbor as yourself over at For fifteen specific ways to love your Deaf neighbor, click here.

And if you’re new here and would like to receive a weekly reflection from me on loving God and neighbor, type your email address here.

Paula (Hendricks) Marsteller is a compassionate Christian communicator.

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