We live in and with technology. In creeps into our lives, even spaces we rarely think about. I recently received my card that recognizes my new status with the US Government; a trusted traveler. I am qualified to self-process myself through passport control. Having gone through process once, four fingers on a machine, answering questions on a screen, and picking up my receipt, I assumed I could ignore everything in the envelope with my card.
A troublesome reminder was included; a protection sleeve. On the sleeve’ back is a note in three languages; “Protect your card’s sensitive electronics – and your privacy. Keep the card in this sleeve when not in use.”
I look at the sleeve and slowly slid in my card. I wondered aloud, “this may protect my card, but how do I protect my heart?”
The silence reminds me that we do not have protection sleeves to slip into when we want protection. We live in this word exposed, even when we close ourselves off to others. Life recently reminded me that as invasive as technology is in good ways as well as bad, it is in the physical connections with others that we really live. We may escape to our virtual words, hiding in them for hours, even days and weeks. Yet it is in the small stuff of living each day, a smile, exchange of words, and looking at another’s eyes, that we share our hearts with others. Other forms of connection work on some level, yet SMS, telephone calls, video links, Facebook, and tweets will never take the place of a hug.
Even in old school terms, wise individuals understood. Paul’s comments reflect his awareness; “I want you to know how delighted I am to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus here with me. They partially make up for your absence!” (1 Corinthians 16.17)
Today I can feel the touch others have left on my heart. Each is a protective layer around my heart. Looking ahead, my prayer is that I can give to others what has been freely given to me.