Texting God and Jesus

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 12, 2018

Are you into texting? If so, do you ever get text messages from God or Jesus? Do you ever send God or Jesus a text message? Maybe you do—without even knowing it. But before I get to those two questions, here are a few interesting facts about text messaging.

  1. The formal name for the app that makes texting possible is Short Message Service (SMS). The idea for text messaging was conceived in 1984 by a Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen. But it would take other engineers eight years to turn the idea into a reality. The first text message was successfully sent in 1992. What did it say? Merry Christmas.
  2. Why do people love texting so much? They say they love it for its reliability, immediacy, ease, speed, and wide range of uses. Texting also costs less than a phone call.
  3. Psychologists say we tend to say things in a text we might not say face to face. In a text, it’s okay to be a little more honest, revealing, and even spunky or touchy. A text provides some distance between “texter” and “textee,” and that distance can make us more direct than we would be face to face.
  4. An estimated 81% of Americans text. Younger Americans send ten times as many texts as people over 65. In fact, people between the ages of 18-25 send 2,022 texts per month. The average teenager sends 3,339 texts per month! Worldwide, over 22 billion texts are sent every day.

5) Since the maximum characters allowed in a text message is 160, people have come up with a variety of symbols and shorthand for texting. Here are a few of them. First, there are the popular facial expressions called emoticons:

🙂 smiling… 😎 smiling with glasses… :-0 shouting … :-* kiss … :’-( crying … : -l determined … O:-) angel.

Then there’s the shorthand: 2l8 – too late… 4e – forever… AML – all my love… B4N – bye for now … Cm – call me… ?4U – a question for you… toy – thinking of you.

Sup – What’s up?… Wru – Where are you?… OFC – of course… plz – please… ily – I love you… DK –  don’t know… MGB – may God bless… J4F – Just for fun… BBS – be back soon.

PCM – please call me… WTG – way to go!… h&k – hugs and kisses… THX – thank you… SRY – sorry… T2ul – talk to you later… H2CUS – hope to see you soon.

Now to my original questions. Does God ever text you? In scripture, I think we can find messages from God or about God that sound/look a lot like text messages:

“Do 2 others as U would have them do 2 U.”

“Trust in G.”

“Love 1another.”

“IM w/ U always.”

“Do not let ur hearts be troubled.”

“Love ur enemies.”

“Peace B w/ U.”

“Come 2 me.”

“Give THX to the L for he is good.”

But perhaps God sends you text messages without words or a smartphone. Might these be “text messages” from God? We feel the urge to reach out to someone in need… We’re cooking supper and are suddenly filled with gratitude… We marvel at a lovely sunset or the first crocus… We hear the chirp of a robin or the gentle patter of rain on the roof and are comforted… We’re driving and our favorite song starts playing on the car radio… We’re inspired by a sentence we read in a spiritual book… A stranger smiles at us… The cat hops onto our lap and starts purring… A friend calls just when we need it…

Do we send “text messages” to God throughout our day? Perhaps we’re in the habit of talking with God as we make our way through the day. Maybe some of our short prayers are really like simple text messages:

THX G.

Plz give me patience.

I’m worried.

I don’t know what 2 do.

Help! :-0

Where R U?

ily, Jesus.

toy, Jesus.

w/o U IM 0.

SRY, Jesus.

B4N

:-*

We often think of prayer as having a conversation with God. And that’s good and fine. But there’s also something to be said for these brief messages we send to God and receive from God throughout our busy day. Like texting, these messages are reliable, immediate, quick, and easy. They keep us mindful and connected to the One who loves us more than we can imagine. 😉

What has been your experience with texting?

What has been your experience with sending and receiving messages from God throughout your day?

The song today is “I Need Thee Every Hour” sung by Fernando Ortega. The song’s history is interesting. It was written in 1872 by a Baptist woman named Annie Hawks. She was a wife and mother of three. One day when she was going about her ordinary household chores, the title of this song came to her. She was deeply moved by the words and eventually composed this song. During her lifetime, Annie Hawks wrote over 400 hymns. This is her most famous.

Do you have anything to say about today’s reflection or song? If so, please respond below.

PS: Thank you for your prayers for my talk in Camden, NJ on March 3 and my retreat for the IHM Sisters in Camilla Hall in Immaculata, PA, from March 4-9. Unfortunately, bad weather cancelled my flight to Philadelphia and I was unable to go to Camden. I’m so sorry! But I was able to fly out two days later and lead the retreat for the IHM Sisters. What a beautiful, lively, prayerful, and inspiring group of women they are! Over 180 Sisters made the week long retreat entitled, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” Thank you to all who made my time at Camilla Hall so beautiful and memorable!

 

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy March 12, 2018 at 5:22 am

Melanie,
I am one of the Immaculata sisters who made your retreat. Thank you for a great retreat. Thank you for this refreshing blog. May God continue to bless you with peace and joy and love. Thank you again , sister Judy.
God bless you

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Kathleen March 12, 2018 at 5:53 am

Beautiful reflection Sr. Melannie!

Just yesterday, I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to send a short Scripture verse to a friend via text. She responded immediately and told me it was profound and needed in the moment. Thx G!

Kathleen

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Roseann March 12, 2018 at 7:37 am

Dear Sr. Melannie,
Text messaging has been a Godsend for me as my grandson lives a distance from us so we are kept updated with texts and photos on a regular basis, and we never miss a “first” in his growing and progress. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Always a treasure. God bless you.

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Terri Butel March 12, 2018 at 8:01 am

Sr. Melanie, thank you for yet another lovely reflection. It is so helpful to awaken to the many signs of God-Walking-With-Us. The song is lovely and I look forward to using for prayer and sharing with others. How did you find one that looks like a text message is being typed??? Grateful for you!

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Marie March 12, 2018 at 8:38 am

Just what I needed

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Kathy March 12, 2018 at 8:41 am

Every day during Advent and Lent my sister texts her three sisters the Bible Reading and Activity for the Day. What a beautiful use of texting! I feel it is a message from our Lord and adds so much to the season. God bless you Sister Melannie in your ministry!

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Georgia Auckly March 12, 2018 at 8:56 am

I really like the music of Fernando Ortega and this is a good song. I also like his rendition of Children of the Living God with harmony by Alison Krauss.

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Lori Follett March 12, 2018 at 10:24 am

Hi Sister,

I appreciate your blog. Thanks for this fun message:) Felt good to read it and think about these things.

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Dorothy March 12, 2018 at 10:44 am

Thank you with all my heart, dear Sister Melannnie! I, too, shared the
Joy, wisdom, peace of your presence last week. It is such a gift to share
And anticipate Sunflower Seeds. Gbwy

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Jean March 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

Sister Melannie,
Monday mornings with your blog are a great way to start the week.
Thank you!!

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Melanie Ebert March 12, 2018 at 11:59 am

Beautiful! Always strengthens my day to connect with out Good Lord.
Always ask Jesus to be my copilot on road trips- such a comfort to know He is directing me.
I so love the music you choose for your Monday blogs.
I Have order some of the artist’s CD to enjoy and give as gifts.

You are a blessing!

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John Hopkins March 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Good morning, Melannie! Believe it or not, I got my first cell phone last year — when I was 59! I don’t text much, but I’ve found it can be so very helpful and convenient! Love how you say God sends us “text” messages through nature or when you turn on the radio and there’s your favorite song!

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Dorothy Janofsky March 12, 2018 at 3:33 pm

I volunteer at Camilla Hall every Thursday (reading to a Sister who can’t see well) and I desperately wanted to meet you last week , but it didn’t work out.

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Carol Anne Schmidt March 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

Thank you for starting every week with wonder!

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Thomas DeFreitas March 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Just saying hello, Sister, and thanking you for the joy of your reflections this week and every week!

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Julie Schmiesing March 16, 2018 at 3:43 pm

What a wonderful meditation! And so timely! The ONLY way I can communicate with my children and grandchildren is through texting. That is the only method that guarantees an answer. I now have great shorthand phrases to include! Thank you for your wonderful words, Sr. Melanie. Gbu!

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Kathy P March 17, 2018 at 8:56 am

Thanks for so much for the beautiful reflection. It was just what I needed as a reminder to find moments of grace in my daily life.

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Stephanie March 31, 2018 at 8:09 am

Sister Melanie, I began reading Give Us This Day each day as part of my Daily Spiritu Practice when I retired at the end of 2017. It has been such a blessing to me and this month it was a reflection of yours that touched my heart. I wrote your name down in the front of the book so that I might Find more by you. Thank you for your ministry and this great gift to us of your musings connecting us on-a human level and by the Power of His Holy Spirit with God and Reminding us through your lens how closely he walks with us each moments of our day. God Bless you!

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