E-Letter 188

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Devotions | 0 comments

 Lenten reflection…Deuteronomy 11:18-28

Our eyes never meet as the young cashier enters my order on her computer and slides my debit card across her pad. Dully, indifferently, she asks the routine questions, “Cream and sugar with that coffee, Ma’am? Would you like an apple pie to go with that?” The work crew behind the counter strains to see my order appearing on the computer just above their heads. Like a well-oiled machine, the workers fill my order. One fills the cup; one pops a lid on top to smother a cloud of escaping steam; a third pushes the cup across the counter. I mumble my thanks, but no one acknowledges it. I slide across the vinyl bench balancing my extra-large dark roast coffee in one hand while eyeing the lunchtime crowd at McDonalds. “Well, Jesus,” I mutter under my breath, “what do YOU see?”

The restaurant, filled with squirmy children, harried mothers, day shift workers waiting for buses, and weary government workers, smells like day-old french fries. I imagine Jesus slowly scanning the scene, his eyes settling on a dread-locked, bearded, scruffy looking man anxiously scrolling his iPad searching for job openings. Sharing a booth with him is a woman absentmindedly rocking a sleeping baby while listening to music through ear buds snaking from her iPhone. In the corner booth, a grandfather, ignored by his two grandchildren parallel playing action games on a laptop and Nintendo 2ds, stares emptily into space. Across the room a middle-aged man with dark circles under his eyes slumps back in his seat, and Jesus watches in fascination as this fastfood magician pulls “rabbits” out of his pocket – notebook, pen, map, and cellphone – and lines them up like little tin soldiers on the table before him. A tattooed woman with pink-streaked hair and gold loops dangling from her ears seated beside him glances at this odd formation, sighs deeply, and begins texting an invisible companion, her thumbs moving like lightning over the screen of her smartphone. “Well, Jesus,” I ask again, “WHAT do you see?”

In a haiku of despair, he replies,

“iPhone, iPad talk

Towers of frenzied Babel –

How can I know you?”

Prayer practice: Surrender your cellphone, put your laptop to sleep, turn off the handheld gaming device, pull out the ear buds streaming music and look, really look at the world unfolding under the watchful gaze of Jesus.