No service. No connectivity.
I had to…got to…ignore my hand-held device, smart phone, cell…whatever else we call the glowing rectangle in my pocket.
The only reason I need a hurricane every week is because it knocks out much of the cell towers, wifi signals, and noise which surrounds me. In this moment, I’m invited to notice what’s around me…who’s around me. I’m invited to notice the Divine.
I’m invited to be exclusively human again, instead of a cyborg, irretrievably connected to a glowing rectangle which suspiciously offers me much of the conveniences which life has to offer, but few of life’s truly meaningful experiences. I’m invited to be a human who reaches out to other humans whether through my needs or theirs. I see people as humans, not Trump or Hillary voters, Christian or non-Christian, nor by generational divisions; people who pretty much share somewhat similar hopes and dreams for their lives and families as I do for mine.
I’m invited into mental stillness. I find moments of sabbath from the stimulus from unending emails, running text conversations, random Amazon shopping sprees, maintaining a “social media presence” and checking scores on sports I don’t really care about. The stillness washes away the clutter and distraction and ushers in peace and calm.
I’m invited into my thoughts and feelings. Instead of searching for another ‘like’ on a social media post, I’m searching my own faculties. Time slows down and I examine my thoughts and ask for the thoughts of others. I find myself in an hour-and-a-half, free-flow, authentic, vulnerable, and transparent conversation with a diverse group of friends, colleagues and strangers. I conjure images and memories of Katherine and Gabe in my mind beyond those stored in the glowing rectangle.
I’m invited into my senses. I see the beauty of nature in and beyond its brokenness after the storm. I’m invited to smell the aroma of a passing thunderstorm, to smell the salt of evaporated ocean water which recently covered the Keys and to taste the salt in the breeze, to feel the pressure of hurricane force winds deep in my chest, to see the sparkle of stars behind wisps of clouds beyond the powerless street lights and dark city blocks, and to see the resilience of a tree, stripped bare but still standing tall.
I’m invited to reflect on the Divine. As I reflect on the world and the One I believe initiated it and presides over its evolving and revolving, I wonder if there is a purpose to the hurricane’s fury and the dangers it wrought. I’m certain there is no simple answer.
The truth is…I don’t need a hurricane each week. However, I do need to put away the glowing rectangle and invite myself to be exclusively human, to mental stillness, into my thoughts and feelings, into my senses, and to reflect on the Divine. Those are the moments I feel most alive.