I have no earthly idea how any of it works in the first place, but I’m open to the idea that it’s actually magic. For all I know is that two minutes before our Easter morning “ALIVE-Stream” was about to go online on Sunday our church servers crashed and folks began getting those dreaded “Internal Error” messages. And with absolutely no evidence for saying so, I’m going with the theory that the hundreds of thousands of people trying to log-in all at once caused it.
Fortunately, our church is blessed with an amazing communications and AV team and between them and our computer guru (thanks Oliver, BJ, Brian, and Roland), we were back up and ready to go within a few minutes. And even better, most folks patiently waited while our techno-wizards figured out a work-around to get our website back online.
All of which reminds me of why I went into humanities and not the sciences or technology in college many years ago. For just as St. Paul once observed, “there are different kinds of working but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” (1 Corinthians 12.6) And how great it is that we don’t have to try to do it all ourselves, or even envy those who have talents that we do not. In that respect, it is somewhat ironic that in this age of forced separation we are thus rediscovering just how much we need others and how connected we really are.
In a similar way, it was while recovering from a different serious illness almost four hundred years ago that an English poet and rather reluctant preacher penned some “Devotions upon Emergent Occasion.” And in a single verse of seven lines, John Donne made a curious comparison indeed, suggesting that each person is like a part of a continent.
“No man is an island, entire of itself,” he wrote, but “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main… if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less as well as if a promontory were.”
A lot like one of those peninsulas jutting out into the sea, I have a feeling that many folks have been exposed to the winds and the waves beating against them in this strange season. But as we learn to lean upon each other—six feet apart, of course—I am hopeful that we may discover anew that our interdependence upon those around us, our “involvement in mankind” as Donne suggested, is actually a gift of God as well.
Or as another poet of sorts, the late musician Bill Withers, so famously expressed it in his signature song, “It won’t be long ‘til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
I’m just hoping my non-humanities friends will still be here to work their magic one more time.