I’ve been talking for two days. That’s how it feels, anyway. There has been time for listening or reading, and there have been breaks as I have driven from place to place, but I’ve had a lot of interaction.
And I’ve mixed twitter and text messaging and email and cell phone and landline and face-to-face. Some has been helpful, some has been sngularly ineffective. But I’ve been trying.
One contrast was particularly striking.
Yesterday evening I got a text message from someone asking a significant theological question. We conversed by text for awhile, with me trying to remember relavant Biblical passages and concepts while meeting and driving. The theme I wanted to get through, a handful of characters at a time, was that we mess up, but God shows grace.
Tonight, several of us put a couple drops of oil on the forehead of a woman fighting cancer and, hands on her shoulders, asked God for strength and for healing. I spent a few minutes talking about a few verses in the book of James which tell us to ask the elders to do this very thing.
An ancient ritual, done with the warmth of touch. An ancient question and answer conversation, done with across distance. What do they have to do with the blacksmith shop?
Smiths used to be central to the tranportation industry. Now they are central to the nostalgia industry and part of the recreation industry. Or they are gone. They focused on a technology which faded as new technologies came along.
Our challenge is to remember that social technology has to emphasize the social rather than the technology. There will always be a handful of people committed to the nostalgia part. But if we want to stay involved in a project which is signficant, which will last, which will transcend technologies, we need to stick with people.
Touching or texting, I gotta be looking toward hearts. Or just let the paint…and my life…fade away.
(thanks to becky McCray for this picture from Enid, OK. And thanks for the encouragemetn this month. Only two more sign posts to go!)