Looking out my window today I initially pondered writing about new life and new starts. We find ourselves in April and you know the old saying – April showers bring May flowers. As I pondered spring rain and new life, the Kakao Talk app on my phone started ringing, notifying me of an incoming video call! That can only mean one thing – An incoming video call from my Little Girl! While you may wonder why I would write about a video call, it revolves around the wonders of technology. Suddenly, instead of looking out my window into my backyard, I was looking at a backyard in the United Arab Emirates. My Little Girl is currently deployed to the UAE with the U.S. Army.
Technology is amazing. This is now our third deployment as our son served two tours of duty with the U.S. Army to Afghanistan. At times internet connection to Afghanistan was very scattered. Depending on what our son was doing, we would go days – or even weeks – without hearing from him. Even then video connections were poor. But, at least we could see him! In the most recent video chat it was right around dusk in the UAE, while it was morning here. The sun was shining and all I could see was blue sky and sand. Then, just as quickly as the call started, it suddenly got dark! When the sun goes down in the UAE, it wastes no time at all. It went from day to night almost instantly.
Another military saying while having loved ones deployed is “living for the green dot”. Facebook has certainly made communication easier and that’s where the “green dot” comes in. Again, depending on what exactly was going on, the deployed loved one may not post much on Facebook. But, they will check Facebook. When going for days without hearing from the person deployed, seeing the “green dot” on Facebook which means they’re active at that point in time brings a great sense of relief. Of course seeing “like’s” on Facebook does wonders too. Even though the “likes” may have taken place hours before, activity on Facebook means they are fine.
As we find ourselves in April, we also find ourselves in the midst of another season of Lent. Easter will soon be upon us and there’s just something about Easter which seems to get people thinking about church. But, how can we connect with an event that happened some 2000 years ago? There’s no video conference call we can replay of the events which took place so long ago. How can we really connect with the truth of the events today?
Actually, modern technology can transport us not only to the other side of the world, but right to the very place where Jesus was laid to rest after His crucifixion. I recently came across a National Geographic article with footage of excavation currently taking place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The video is amazing as I found myself in the midst of one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem. The very location of what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus.
Modern technology is truly amazing. While I would love to make a trip to Israel sometime and visit such places in person, for now I’m thankful for technology which allowed me to see it via video footage. This year as I ponder the empty tomb of Easter morning it will seem just a little more real. As I remember the words of the angel in Matthew 28 as he told the women at the tomb – “Do not be afraid, for I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said”. I will remember the video showing that the tomb is indeed empty!
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.