My iPhone screen is cracked. And people notice, y’know? Its kind of an outward and visible sign of some kind of inward shortcoming: clumsiness, inability to pay for a replacement, not caring. I plead guilty to the first, sorta to the second (it’s the second time I’ve broken the screen in a month and this is adding up) and no to the third. I do care that people notice. I don’t want to perceived as one of those people who fail to maintain their property. Next thing you know I might be cluttering the front lawn with used cars.
Dubious iPhone tucked away for the morning, Saturday found me wandering the lovely grounds of the Loyola Jesuit Center in Portland. Author and retreat leader Belden Lane asked us to look for a “teacher” in the natural world. In the manner of lectio divina, I went in search of something that might catch my attention as a catalyst for prayer. It was a moss-covered rock that captivated me: its myriad damp shades of greens glowing in reflected light. I sat with it, listening for its wordless story, which finally revealed itself in pattern. The smooth rock face bears no tenacious bryophytes: life only takes hold in the cracks.
Car crash, dad’s high-stakes surgery, broken phone: I’m feeling a bit banged up myself these days. But maybe the stresses and cracks are exactly where I should be looking for new life. I might fork over another $200 to repair my iPhone screen…. or I might recommit myself to listening for the call that comes from the seemingly broken thing.