Psalm 18:6 - In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.
When Pam and I brought our first baby home from the hospital, every time he uttered a peep, we came running.
After a while, Pam came to learn the difference between Kurt's cries. He cried one way when he was hungry, another way when he had an upset stomach, another way when he wanted to be held, and yet another way when, well, you get the idea.
Eventually, I did too, as Pam educated me.
Now all that works just fine for parents who can hear their child.
Unfortunately, deaf parents have no way of deciphering their child's cries or even know if he is crying at all. It can be an incredibly frightening and emotional experience.
The problem was first addressed by Dr. Ariana Anderson at the UCLA Medical Center. She realized, as a mother of four, she had learned to interpret the wordless vocalizations of her little ones.
For example, she had learned that when a baby has a long period of silence between his cries, he is usually just being cranky. On the other hand, when the cries are long, sustained, and high-pitched, the baby usually has a pain which needs to be addressed.
To share her knowledge, Dr. Anderson took her experience and fortified it with information taken from monitoring 2,000 other children. She, along with the Semel Institute, created a computer program called the ChatterBaby app.
When properly used by deaf parents, the app can let them know when their child is crying and give a pretty good indication as to why the child is letting out those wails.
At the time of this devotion's writing, the app is boasting a 90 percent accuracy rate, which is a whole lot better than I ever did.
As I read through Scripture, I find a great many people who cried to the Lord.
* There were those who cried out in fear and those who cried because they were sad.
* There were those who cried because of illness or because they had lost a loved one.
* There were those who cried out while they were enslaved.
* There were those who cried out because they felt they were alone.
* Those who cried when the people wandered from the Lord.
But the Lord needs no app to hear the heart-prayers of His people. Not only did the Lord hear those cries, He also knew the person from whom they came, and He was able to respond to their sincerity, or lack of it.
Today, even now, because of the redemptive work of His Son, the Lord is still ready to help us. As our Father who has sent His Son to save us, He has inclined His ear to listen to any and all who come to Him with trust and faith. He still hears our cries.
THE PRAYER: Lord, grant that my cries be directed to You who, because of Jesus, our intermediary, are ready to help. We also ask that we be prepared to commit ourselves to hearing Your response to our cries. In the Name of the Savior, I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by McKinley Corbley on May 29, 2018 for the Good News Network. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/mom-develops-new-app-that-alerts-deaf-parents-to-when-and-why-their-babies-are-crying/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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