Friday, September 9, 2011

#13 - Jump Texting

Hon. Some teen is jumping up and down on our back porch!” was Ross' almost shout at his silver-haired wife sewing at the kitchen table. The needle was parked in the pin cushion and both the Tappins headed for the back door to investigate the commotion. 

Hope Tappin, that's 'Hon', recognized the super-charged teen as one of her every Saturday Fellowship teens, Bonnie. Hope told her husband of 47 years the teen's name, as the excited teen was welcomed into the kitchen of Hope.
Realizing there was no real emergency, Ross went into his living room easy chair and half-read newspaper. Hope motioned Bonnie to take a seat at the kitchen table that had seen testings and troubles in teen's lives, sorted out and given their calmed attention. 

Before Bonnie exploded with excitement, Hope held up both hands in a 'stop' gesture to the teen. Hope said, “Wow, Bonnie! Anything that's got you this worked up, we'll want to take a serious look at. How's about us starting with prayer asking God to help you to say what's needed and me to listen real close. Let's do that right now.”
Hope knew from the many Saturday teen-girls get-togethers before, that Bonnie was the most burdened of the 14 girls, to use her faith, in this technology world she was thrust into the center of. School assignments shoved her into doing Internet research, her bedroom laptop and printer produced her printed reports, while digital versions of her reports were emailed to her teachers. 

Most everywhere Bonnie went with her friends, she had to be reachable by Bonnie's mom or dad; for safety sake. The reason given was, “That's what the parents expect, that really truly love and care about their children.”
The biggest reason Bonnie found herself, without a choice of her own, in this world of inescapable tech gadgets, is because all her friends were doing it, whether good or bad.
Because of the long-standing kitchen table rule, the teen turned her smart phone completely off and laid it right next to the ever present, always open Bible. Almost without recognizing it, the girls were all getting used to seeing their tech gadgets right next to God's Word. In their minds were seeds planted, that said without reservation, technology and God's Word go together.

OK, Bonnie. What's got you all lit up, on the inside and out?”
Well, Gram, I tried a little texting experiment. What I did, was, I texted all my friends with a question.” The teen's excitement could hardly keep her in her chair explaining to Gram – that's Hope. “I was looking at one of the first proverbs in the Bible that you said we should think of, as tweets. And that we should think about using them in our texting. So I tweeted the question, 'A sentence I read in an old book talked about wisdom and instruction. Hey everybody, what's the difference?'”

Gram, I got a couple stupid replies, but Hanna, one of my girlfriends, thought it was a good question and asked me what book I saw it in. Honestly, Gram, 'cuz of what you've taught us girls, I first told her the old book was the same one you have us park our smart phones next to; the Bible.”

It's a miracle, Gram! An absolute; no-question-about-it, miracle. Gram, Hanna wants to learn the difference between instruction and wisdom too. But she's been texting me back with more questions she hopes your Bible has answers for. It's a miracle that even one honest text question can get some teens like me and Hanna to be looking in God's Word for love, learning, and just knowing someone really truly loves me even though I'm not perfect.”
Bonnie couldn't sit still any longer. She jumped to her feet, pranced around the kitchen table once and knocked Hope's glasses on the floor trying to give her one of those hugs that even make arthritis pains disappear. Trying her very best, Hope tried to calm the teen down just enough to take a look at a couple of things.
Something that probably only heaven knows is the whispered 'Thank you Jesus' repeated over and over from behind a living room newspaper; a newspaper that has no inkling of what real news; real joy; real miracles are all about.
With one loving arm around the teen miracle witness, Hope slid her open Bible closer to them both and asked Bonnie to show her the proverb she had gotten her question from. The next few moments allowed the two ladies from very different generations, to pick out more precious proverbs to get questions out of. You may not have noticed the smart phone in the middle of the table, all alone. Quite a contrast to the focus of teen thinking in all other hours of the day and night.

Do you like miracles? Have you ever truly seen one? How would you like to be in the middle of one?
You've just read how... no matter what generation you are a part of.