“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 NKJV
I had what I often like to describe as an Esther moment today. It’s a time when things that I have done for a long time, perhaps years, suddenly make sense as they are revealed to be part of a larger plan.
I’ve had a few more interesting experiences since my last post. When I was still at my home church, before returning to college, another special music singer asked me if I would be willing to sign along with her song as well. I agreed, and she gave me the words to the song that I managed to quickly learn before the service. The signing went well and I enjoyed being able to do it again before I had to leave.
Last Sunday, after coming back to college, I was helping host a dinner after the church service for a church group that I am involved with. During the dinner, a woman I had never met came up to be and told me that she enjoyed the way I signed songs during the services. The interpreters had not been working that day, and there were no Deaf people attending, so I had remained in the pew, but she had noticed me signing anyway.
This woman, Diane, told me she had a Deaf sister whom she was hoping to convince to start attending church there, and who has not been to church for some time. Although there are churches in the area with larger Deaf populations, her sister was not attending any of these and she hoped that coming to one with family already there would help.
I told Diane that I looked forward to seeing her sister if she came the next week, and today I was hoping to see her. However, none of the family were there, and neither were the interpreters. I sat in the pew again but this time practiced signing the service itself as well as the music, since if I want to become a professional interpreter I will need to learn to keep up with rapid speakers.
After the service, Diane came up to me and asked me if I felt comfortable signing a whole service. I told her that I did, and that I had done that before when the interpreters were not there. She told me that she had called the office this week and had been told that Barb, the usual interpreter, was taking a leave of absence for a while, and so there would be no interpreter for the service. Thus, she told her sister not to come. However, if I was willing to try doing the interpreting, she would bring her sister next week.
I told her that I would love to do that, and to be a part of bringing her sister back into a church family. We exchanged emails to stay in contact for weeks when I would not be on campus available to sign, and I have planned to both call the church office during the week to learn the songs and also to attend the first service to hear the message once and practice my signing before I have to sign for the second service. It will be my first “official” interpreting assignment, even though I am nowhere near qualified or experienced, or certified.
I have a habit of volunteering myself for things, and apparently my learning method is. ‘throw the novice in the deep end and see what happens’, but I am truly looking forward to this opportunity. Not only will it be wonderful experience I can use if I go on to study interpreting as a career, but it will be a chance to meet a new person with whom I will hopefully form a wonderful friendship.
This is a situation I could not possibly have anticipated a year ago. I had no idea that the regular interpreters would be stepping aside for a while and that someone would be needed to take their place. I would never have expected that person to be me. But it seems that all along, I was slowly being prepared to take over this job at a time when it is incredibly important to one family, and perhaps to one person’s spiritual life. I will be in constant prayer that God will use this opportunity to draw Diane’s sister to Him, and that I can be one of the tools He uses for this work.