I am so excited about this video I recently posted. A little background if you are new here, my daughter SJ was diagnosed with severe hearing loss when she was two years old (almost ten years ago). She can hear and speak now thanks to cochlear implants and hard work, but it was a very long journey.
I started simple signed language when she was a baby before I knew that she was deaf and when she was dianosed I knew I needed to find a way to communicate with her immediately. So I devoured every resource I could on American Signed Language. One thing that helped me learn ASL was to worship in sign. Several years ago I had some friends who are deaf that started coming to the church where my husband was the full time worship leader and while I certainly could NOT interpret the message (I am nowhere near fluent) I could interpret and lead in sign during worship.
When the song Gratitude by Brandon Lake came out it resonated deeply in my soul so I did what I always do when I want to learn the signs, I googled it! Except there was no interpretation online anywhere. I felt like the Lord led me to be the one to post a video of the interpretation so I did and I had my daughter join me.
I know there are many ways to interpret, especially music. I did receive help from a deaf friend who is fluent, so between my friend, SJ, and myself this is what we came up with. It’s an expression of worship in the first language that my daughter and I spoke to each other with. Fun fact, she is left handed and I’m not so our signs are a mirror image of each other, which I feel like makes it even more special.
So there is the full back story to this video. If you are interested in learning the signs to the song Gratitude line by line I will leave the gloss below. Glossing can be used for any language and it’s when you do a transcription of the words instead of a translation. So I will type out the signs that we used, but keep in mind a lot of this goes deeper than just a direct word for word translation, it’s facial expressions, body movements, and reactions that express the full message of the lyrics. It’s one of the beautiful aspects of ASL that made me fall in love with this language.
I could go on and on, but for now, here are signs-
All words fail
I have nothing new
How I show my gratitude
I can sing
I often sing
but every song ends
*throw hands up*
praise again again
all I have hallelujah hallelujah
I know not much but I have nothing for king
but heart sing hallelujah hallelujah
I have one response
I have one strategy
*spread arms wide*
I will worship you
come my soul don’t *shy (but we did more expressive movement)
I lion inside breathe
lift up praise Lord
I’m simplifying big time here, but I know something like this is helpful when learning. I would encourage anyone interested in ASL to learn about the full structure, culture, and nuances of the language, but you have to start somewhere. My heart is that maybe someone who is learning about worshiping in sign, or is homeschooling, or even in ministry of some kind that maybe this blog post would be helpful. It was a fun first time experience to share this expression of worship with my daughter.