Seeing the Deaf
Posted: September 1, 2022
Becky Lloyd has learned a great truth: God weaves our stories according to His Master Plan. He used her early life experiences to lead her toward an important purpose. Her work helps enrich the lives of people with hearing loss. It also enriches the lives of willing people without hearing loss by helping them interact well with the Deaf.
Mrs. Lloyd grew up with many deaf family members. But she never learned sign language as a child. Her deaf grandmother taught her only a few basic signs when she was very young.
Mrs. Lloyd has an older brother who got married. His wife learned American Sign Language (ASL). She wanted to communicate with deaf relatives and others. She challenged Mrs. Lloyd to learn more about Deaf culture.
Mrs. Lloyd met her future husband, Charles, at church. They dated through college. Charles suggested they learn sign language. They might have a deaf child in the future. They took an ASL class. Years later, Mrs. Lloyd’s teacher told her, “You have the gift to serve the Deaf.”
Dr. and Mrs. Lloyd married after college. They had two hearing children. In the 1990s, the Lloyd family joined a church with an interpreted Deaf ministry. She loved watching the interpreter sign.
In a Bible study in 1999, Mrs. Lloyd was asked a vital question. “How can you trace God’s hand on your life? What is the common thread?” Mrs. Lloyd says, “My first thought was the Deaf!”
At 41, Mrs. Lloyd began attending college for the Interpreter Training Program. Interpreting a spoken language into a signed language is hard work. God’s clear leading helped Mrs. Lloyd stay the course. She became an ASL interpreter in 2014.
Mrs. Lloyd wants others to know deaf people are equal to everyone else. They have much to bring to communities—just like hearing folks. “We must step into their world, learning ASL and their culture from them. When we do, our perspective of our God will be greater and higher.”
Why? God has a Master Plan for your story. It includes learning from people with other life experiences, languages, and cultures.
Did You Know? The National Center on Disability and Journalism capitalizes the word “deaf” differently as it applies to hearing loss (deaf; deafness) and to the community of people who live with that hearing loss (the Deaf culture or Deaf community).