Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 17, 2009

A Personal Life Alarm

   I finally got around to meeting the new neighbors. When I arrived home, I discovered that their shrill house alarm had been sounding for several hours. I knew that an older retired couple had moved into the house and I was worried something might have happened to them. So, I rushed over to the house and rang the doorbell as I simultaneously knocked on the door. No answer. Finally, my new silver-haired neighbor emerged from the house. He motioned for me to wait a moment and then went back into his house while his alarm continued to sound its earsplitting warning. After a minute or so he returned to the door with a pad and pencil in hand. He motioned to his ears and shook his head. He is deaf! His wife is deaf, too!

   He handed me the pad and pencil and motioned for me to write. So, I introduced myself on paper, welcomed him to the neighborhood, and informed him that his home’s alarm had been on all afternoon. He shook his head apologetically and invited me into his home to show him how to properly operate the alarm system. I did and he smiled. We then continued our conversation for a full four pages, passing the pad and pencil back and forth! I assured him that I would keep an eye on him and his wife. He smiled as he jotted down the word “Thanks.” Then he wrote that he was in the process of having his security alarm tied into the lights in his home, like his doorbell, so that they would blink on and off in conjunction with the sound. Blinking lights — a warning of danger to a couple living in a world of silence.

   As I walked back home I tried to imagine life without sound. No television. No music. No sounds of dogs barking at night or kids playing up and down the street. No loud lawn mowers on Saturday mornings. No thunder on stormy days. No sounds of birds singing or leaves gently rustling in the breeze. None of the usual and familiar neighborhood sounds that I take for granted. Not even the high-pitched sound of a home security alarm. No sounds at all. Only silence. And then I thought about the blinking lights that would serve as my deaf neighbor’s only warning in the event of danger. “Maybe I should get my home security alarm hooked into the house lights,” I thought. In case of an emergency I would like to have all the warning I can get! And since I can both see and hear such an arrangement would serve me just fine.

   And then I wondered, “What if God hooked each of us up to an alarm with blinking lights?” Imagine being wired with a personal life alarm designed to warn us and those around us of spiritual, moral, or ethical danger. Just imagine the salesman setting off his alarm with a little white lie to help him close the deal! Picture a spouse about to cross over the line into the region of infidelity having their illicit amorous rendezvous ruined by alarms and blinking lights! Imagine the student bent over his desk while taking mid-term exams setting off his alarm and blinking lights with a glance over the shoulder of the student in front of him. Yes, maybe God should hook each of us up to a personal life alarm triggered by our disobedience to His Word. But then again, He already has! Don’t be deaf and blind to the alarming conviction of the Holy Spirit. After all, He is watching out for us and has our best interests in mind!

• • • • •

Written in May 1991 | San Antonio, Texas


  1. Omar-

    Thanks for such a story of your neighbors who could not talk & hears! When i was reading your message about neighbors, it’s remained me a scripture from the book of John 9:40-41. Some people around Him & said to Jesus that, they had eyes how they are blinds?

    Jesus answered them like this, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now that you claim you can see, your guilt reminds’.

    I guess that, your deft neighbors still had eyes, they unable to talk as we do; some times I see these kinds of people around my path when I am out of my home. I trying to realize that, this physically blinds or deaf people will go to the heaven, end of the day! That should be much beneficial for those people,(Lk 16:22).

    I had talked to my self some times that, if some one’els come to a blind man and say that ‘ you will see again well, but conditions is this, do not see something’ll that not good things’

    I am very sure that, blind or deaf will say immediately, ‘I will not to see fealty things, & I will not to talk about bad things at all rest of my life!!!

    Time for us to take decisions, we are saying we had eyes; we are saying we can talks, but what we are watching? What we are talking about? Is it a great privilege for us those are physically OK. We must be do things that glorify our God!!!

    We much remember (John 9:41).

    Thanks again!

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