One of the strangest aspects of yesterday for me was the experience of presiding at the 10.00 with my ears in such a state that I could barely hear myself much of the time, let alone any sort of congregational responses. (Fortunately, the pulpit mic is designed with the seriously hard of hearing in mind, so I didn't miss out on J's sermon). It is very very strange leading worship when you are apparently completely on your own...(and probably under water at that)....It concentrated the mind wonderfully, because I simply could not carry any responsibility for how the congregation were in the worship...I simply had to focus on where I was with God.
I possibly spend too much time worrying that leading liturgy can become a performance...that my relationship with the congregation has more importance than is helpful or desirable. Yesterday, from my perspective, I might have been the only person there when I stood at the high altar - but the reality was in no way diminished. It was a good morning, really good.
(In writing this, of course, I'm very conscious that this is every day normality for some...I'm not presuming to comment on the experience of real deafness, simply on how my (presumably) temporary state impacted on me yesterday)