Do you ever wonder how God feels about all this technology we have? Does He worry that surfing the Internet for a cool new iPhone case detracts from time that might otherwise be spent in deep contemplative prayer? Or does He revel in the fact that human beings are significantly more interconnected than we were even 10 years ago, a result I am confident He would applaud. Just for fun, I just checked to see if God has a Facebook page. Indeed, He has several, though the work of human hands seems to be evident. One of His Facebook pages has 3,719,551 “Likes.” While this is roughly 3,719,541 more “Likes” than I have ever received on even the cutest kid pictures I posted, it seems like a small number relative to the number of religious Facebook users in the world.
I think this is one of those metaphysical questions that has no answer. That said, I had quite the spiritual technology experience in church this morning. Like a good little boy, I had my phone in the inside breast pocket of my sport coat, on vibrate. Over the course of the past 10 years, I would estimate the total number of phone calls I have received before noon on Sunday at 3. Thus, I was getting concerned when it vibrated with a second call in thirty minutes. I slipped it out of my pocket just enough to see who was calling.
The screen read “Paul Witteman Calling….” on top of the background picture on my phone, which is….a picture of my dear friend, Paul Witteman. Paul passed on New Year’s Day this year after a long battle with cancer. But, there I was in church, staring at a picture of Paul, getting a phone call from him. My first thought was, “Wow, God really has this technology thing nailed down much better than I thought.” My admiration for God’s technology prowess faded quickly as I realized it was likely Paul’s lovely wife, Ellie, calling and that their home phone number was still categorized in my phone under Paul’s name. That said, it was a wonderful little moment when I thought Paul was using some combination of God’s spirit and Apple technology to reach back out to me.
I owe my readers, or more important, myself a much longer blog about Paul. I wrote about half of it a few days after he passed, but it didn’t seem to do justice so I put it on hold for a while. He was too special for a half-assed blog. Plus, he was a life-long journalist so I’m a little nervous about writing about him, especially now that I know he’s using technology to keep tabs on me. But, in the event that I get it written and posted, this entry is good foreshadowing for the plot. Paul wasn’t necessarily the most religious guy in the world, but I think he would have loved the notion of calling me from beyond on my iPhone in the middle of church. Paul never took life, or me, too seriously. It’s one of the things I loved most about him. To be continued….