I wish I knew more sign language. Me and the guy at the Y (whose name is John, by the way) now have a relationship of sorts. He finds all kinds of ways to communicate with me.
He notices if I come in a little later, points at me and rests his head on his hands as if to say, "Oh, so you slept in today." If I'm on a bike, he'll take a gander at my screen, motion to the cliff's edge and steer his hands. He'll tease me a little as I get hot and sweaty, pumping his arms. If he wants to get my attention he sounds like he's clearing his throat saying "Aaa!" He tells me I'm okay when he pats my shoulder and smiles. When I try to leave, he'll stop me, shake a finger in my face and tap his watch. I get the message--"You haven't worked out long enough."
Once I was staring off into space while I caught my breath and apparently he thought I was ogling some people in the gym. He pointed to me, then them and rubbed one finger over the other to say "shame on you." He shared his theory about the cracked window in the Wellness Center too. I think he actually ribbed me about pushing my husband into it! He went, "Aaa!", touched his left ring finger, motioned to me, tightened his lips and brow, made fists, then pretended to shove a head toward the window!
I'm never sure how to respond to him. Mostly I smile and shake my head, but since I'm not sure if he reads lips or not, often I say something. I have no way to know if he understands what I'm trying to communicate. But I know we are friends and wonder where God is going with this. Last week I was reading a book while pedaling away and saw him saunter over. I expected him to suggest I go faster or wipe his forehead, but when he got up to the bike, he noticed my bookmark, a leftover from our summer musical at church. He adjusted his glasses and leaned in to see it.
"Aaa!" he said, tapping it gently. He nodded his head and tapped it again.
"Aaah," he said softer before walking away.
What do you make of that?! I wish I knew how to ask him about it. Who knew a silly bookmark I absentmindedly threw into my book would start my head spinning about how to talk with my deaf friend about his relationship with Jesus? It confirms every action, no matter how minute or insignificant it seems, can be used by God.
I'm relying on Him to guide me in this relationship, to give me the right motions since I can't rely on my words. I want to be a good friend to John. And I'm thankful for this unexpected, kind of cool new adventure He's put me in. I know I will learn so much.
If you think of it, pray for John and me, 'kay? I don't want to miss out on what God has planned here.