When I was a kid, I had laryngitis for a few days, which made it impossible to talk. My mother said that was a blessing, but I called it frustrating. I had to write notes to say anything. At another time, I had an infection in both ears, making me feel like I was at the bottom of an empty well, barely able to what others were saying. That’s as close as I can get to imagining the struggle a person would have if he were suddenly struck deaf and dumb.
Most people who have read the story in Luke 1 are aware of the angel Gabriel’s judgment upon Zechariah because of his unbelief—that he would be unable to speak. But they sometimes miss the information in verse 62, where people used hand gestures to communicate with him, which says he was also deaf. After leaving the Temple with God’s promise, he faced the impossible task of explaining the miracle to his wife, Elizabeth.
For more than nine months, Zechariah lived in a world of total silence, where the only sounds he could hear were the cries of his heart and what the Holy Spirit might whisper in his ear.
For more thoughts on what might have happened, you can consider the possibilities that are revealed in my short story.
Dismissed from serving in the Temple, the priest Zechariah wants his wife, Elizabeth, to understand what has happened. Unable to hear or speak, how can he communicate his miraculous experience and avoid becoming a stranger in his own house?