Devotion 29 – Lent 2015

My phone would not stop ringing on my computer. It’s not a typo. It’s what happened. My cell phone was ringing. The battery was low. I was working on my laptop and something popped up on my laptop screen indicating that I had a phone call and I could answer on my computer so I tried it. I was connected with the other party and we could see each other. But my laptop kept playing my phone ringer tune over and over. I tried everything I could think of on my laptop to stop it. No luck. Surely it would stop after a minute. No. After 5 minutes. No. After 15. No. The ringing just kept going and going. I turned off my phone completely. And my computer kept on ringing.

When I was finished with the call on my laptop, I called my daughter on my phone to find out how to prevent that problem in the future. She has a similar phone and laptop, so she is my tech consultant. She was in a coffee shop. I explained what happened. She was repeating it back to me. Somewhat in disbelief. Then she told me, “Mom, just a minute. A man here in the coffee shop is telling me about what went on with your phone.” She came back on and told me that it is a bug in the latest software update. It will be fixed in the next update. In the meantime, if it happens, hang up and call the person back. Then my phone/laptop won’t ring.

I thought this was amazing. A random stranger, over a thousand miles away, with no connection to the situation, and without being asked, constructively contributed to an understanding of my problem. Beautiful. This is how the world should work. People helping each other. Working together. Open to the needs around them. Constructively contributing.

But so often, this doesn’t happen because we are closed. We think we know what we need to know so don’t avail ourselves of new perspectives. We think it’s not our business so we don’t get involved. We decide our help is not wanted so we don’t offer. We cling to fixed ideas and are not open to new solutions or explanations.

If there is no opening, then peace cannot get in. Love cannot seep through. Justice cannot make any headway. Lent is a time to cultivate openness. To new possibilities. To new perspectives. To new approaches. To new futures. Maybe God is calling and the ringing won’t stop until there’s a connection.

Lectionary readings for today:

Psalm 107:1-16
Isaiah 60:15-22
John 8:12-20

Prayer: May we respond to God’s creative, constructive, connective universal love. Amen.

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