Wednesday, January 13, 2010
See Computers, See People - Gibson
At high noon on December 28th – or as high as noon gets at the dawn of true winter – I sat in my husband’s big recliner. Plunked myself down, just to stare out the window. Alone for the first time, it seemed, during the holiday season. And very tired.
All was calm, all was bright. Only an occasional breeze nudged the trees. When they stirred, they flashed. Sparked like static between bedsheets.
A light application of hoar frost, barely noticeable, rested on surrounding spruce, maple and cedar. They wore their jewels like self-conscious royalty.
I liked that. Liked the still house, the quiet angels, the surprises over. Blessed residue of Christmas past.
Across a sky as blue as forget-me-nots, a white streak began and lengthened from the west, tracing eastward.
Just a jet, I thought. Wonder where it’s goin’ today.
A jet? the Holy Spirit interrupted. (Never fails. I sit down to be quiet. He interrupts.) A jet, Kathleen? That’s people up there. Human beings thirty-five thousand feet up, travelling 550 miles an hour. People leaving home. People going home. People happy, people sad. Mad people. Afraid people. Confident people. People, Kathleen.
Well, of course, Lord. I know that. So what?
Don’t call it “just a jet,” that’s all. I don’t even see the jet myself. Only people.
Into my silent day, holy day, into my all-is-calm, all-is-bright moment sparked a realization: computers too, are mere people vehicles.
I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to the computer. Not in practice — in mindset. I keep my website pages and blogs operational, but I’m slow to plunge deeper. Social marketing scares the bejeebies out of me. I see dangers there — making ourselves in our own image, mostly. Creating our own buzz. Becoming digitalized people. Would Jesus tweet? Honestly, now.
Clouds obscured the blue bowl above, the vapour trail dissipated and the jewels stopped flashing. But there we sat still, God and I. Remembering the people Christ died for and I craft words for. Talking over the messy business of communicating vital life messages using the tenuous mediums of dead trees, broken sticks, podiums, pixels, and 140 characters.
Sometimes I forget you write too, I said. An anthology, sort of, wasn’t it?
Yes, said the Living Word. Bit of time. Bit of effort. Not many read it. I speak some too. Even fewer listen.
I’d rather forget about the blasted computer, mostly, I said, yawning.
I know that, too.
The sun stretched two fingers through a ragged cloud, poked a glaring hole in my neighbour’s blue spruce and pinched shut my weighted eyelids.
That okay, Lord?
Okay. Just remember. People.
Sigh. Now what?
I use computers too.
Practice by Pratice, a collection of Kathleen's Sunny Side Up faith and life newspaper columns will be published later this year by Word Alive Press, Winnipeg.
In 2009, BPS Books published West Nile Diary, One Couple's Triumph Over a Deadly Disease.
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