The text message of happiness

Holy text message, Batman.

In the waning days of winter, right before spring busts out what it's been concocting in the back room, I often slip into a little shift of melancholy. (See: last week.) And for a brief moment, I relish the wallow. I don't have to be happy. I don't have to rejoice. I can just grump around until something shakes me out of it.

This year, that 'something' comes via text. I signed up for daily, text-sized reflections from Theological Horizons a month or so ago, and since then have been receiving notifications about (from?) God on my phone, usually during staff meetings.

Aside from the fact that my phone now lights up with the word JESUS in front of colleagues every day, I've come to look forward to these contemplative reminders. They make me pause. They invite me to think. They give me space for a deep breath and a fast re-read.

Plus, they've introduced me -- non-theologian that I am -- to psalms, writers, and thoughts I'd not considered before. For example:

  • The phrase in Psalm 139 that isn't about being fearfully and wonderfully made (but perhaps does come across as mildly stalkerish): "Lord, you've searched me out and known me. You know where I am and where I go [...] you're in front of me and behind me; you've laid your hand on my shoulder."

  • The hitch-up-your-britches-and-go-get-em reminder from 2 Timothy: "... fan into flame the gift of God which is in you! God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline."

  • The feverish exhortation from English mystic Julian of Norwich, the chick responsible for the first book written in English by a woman: "The worst has already happened and been repaired ... all shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well."

Look at that: love, faith, and hope in a handy bite-size format. On your phone. In your hand. At the office. What's not to love?

Prayer #203: Text Me

When my data plan runs over
and my texting wears me out,

When the hotspot starts to cool off
and my thumbs protest and shout,

In those moments when I'm silent
(Which means I'm ignoring you),

Send a text of love and healing
for I promise, it gets through.