Texting is Not Like the Real Thing

February 14, 2012

Friends, I’m thankful for such a full life, but I am feeling a little frantic lately because of a minor though chronic condition of overcommitment. February is busy because it contains the birthday of my firstborn, who is turning nine, and we must sound the trumpets and celebrate with style because she is worth it. Along with this, and traveling, and commitments at church, charity, and family, my cup overfloweth. I should and could come up with a list of things to do, proceed to run around like a chicken with its head cut off, and feel exhausted and drained without accomplishing much. Or, I could sit down, take a deep breath, and write. Hopefully the effect will be a calmer mind, more clarity, and a deeper appreciation of the purpose of these commitments. Yes, that sounds good. This I will do.

This past weekend I was out of town. I don’t normally post how hot my husband is (I do think this) or loudly proclaim my love for him on social media because I don’t want to annoy single people who resent hearing about my amazing married life. Not that all single people resent hearing about this. Nor should they. But I know sometimes it is hard so I prefer not doing that. But no judgment towards those who do flaunt their love life because it is something good and should be celebrated. Also, note to single people, our married lives are more than twitter and Facebook statuses, we also fight and that never gets posted. You should know that. End lengthy disclaimer.

The truth is, I do enjoy a very close relationship with my husband. We’ve been married for almost 11 years so let’s face it we’re past the honeymoon stage but definitely entered the deep intimate life sharing phase. When I was away, I texted him each night (truthfully to make sure my kids are clean and fed) and shared some short snippets from our day. We are thankful for the new iMessage which allows us to text each other for free as long as we both have internet access to our iPhones. After texting, I’d settle down on my hotel bed and drift off to sleep. I am able to sleep peacefully because I am content knowing my loved ones are safe, and having connected via a few texted words, sense my emotional and relational needs being met. There’s a peace knowing my world is fine and I can wake up the next morning carrying on with the tasks of the next day. My marriage has taught me so much about the nature of our human-ness which requires a depth of connection which we find in marriage, friendship, family, communities, and beyond.

You know that bit in the Bible about how we, the followers of Jesus Christ, are metaphorically analogous to the Bride? This need for connection with my husband, this urge to text before bedtime, that’s comparable to our longing to connect with our God. And Jesus, He is our iMessenger (wow, cheesy), giving us an avenue to directly relate to our Father. And He brings us peace to go to sleep at night. Peace knowing we are safe in His arms, safe to love others, safe to get up in the morning and carry on with the tasks of the next day.

But after three days of being gone, I came home. And I (after I told him to haul my luggage upstairs) gave him a hug. We settled into bed together and talked face to face. He told me stories of the kids antics and I shared about my trip.

And it was different. It was better. We were together again.

We are not there yet, the Church. We have a lot. We have Jesus, we have each other, we have glimpses of what is to come. It is enough for now. iMessage is sufficient. For now. But one day, we will be together, the Bride and the Groom, and it will be different. It will be better.