Well so much for more blogging! I did pretty well that first week or so, but this one kind of got away from me. The weekend was busy. We had a ministry team meeting Friday night. Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday I did a ride-along with a police officer as part of the Citizen's Police Academy I'm attending. Sunday was our Harvest Feast at church, and I squeezed in a visit to L at the jail. In between L and I finished up the last of the fall yard work, put the hoses and lawn furniture away and made some trips to the compost dump. I started out Monday in the throes of already tired and the week has not slowed down enough for catch-up. Dental visits for me and the cat, an oil change, a haircut, Bible study with the Soul Sisters, another meeting at church....oh yeah, and the day job.
I'm trying to beef up my tech savvy. Yesterday I downloaded Skype and last night I bought a webcam. This will have use both in my church and other life I think. Our team mentor lives half way across the state and we have been thinking that it makes more sense sometimes for him to join us virtually, so we've been thinking about how to make that work. And Soul Sister A has moved away...so the SS's too have been "meeting" in a new way. So far we have been including her via IM's as the other three of us gather here, each on a keyboard, madly typing away our thoughts, but that's been less than satisfactory. So we are thinking that Skype and a camera is the way to go there too. And that it would be good for each of us to have visual capability for those inevitable days when we cannot meet in one location for one reason or another. This is all very amusing to me, as I download and link and mutter away to myself about hardware and software and ports and bytes. I clearly remember sitting at this very desk not so many years ago (pre-blog it was) and saying to myself...."I think technology has passed me by." I really thought it was true. It felt like there was too much new stuff! Blogs and MP3s, podcasts and downloads.....I just knew I could never make sense of it, so best just stick to e-mails and a little web-surfing now and then. HA! Old dogs, new tricks....and it really did all start with this blog. I learned a little html, realized I too, could download photos and move text, and we were off and running!
So last night we sat, six of us, in a hundred and twenty year old church basement talking about the Old Testament. And at the head of the table sat a small laptop with a smiling face peering out. Two hours away sat T in his office, happily participating with us, able to be engaged with our study and also move on to his next thing without using half a day driving back and forth. We were talking about sense of place and being home. An interesting thought when you can "be" somewhere you are not.
The jail is "into" virtual reality too. No more face to face visits for the clergy in a private room. We have been relegated to the new "face phones" with the rest of the visitors. The only face to face visits now are with the attorneys. You see your person on a TV type screen and talk on a phone receiver. There are four such "stations" lined up in a row about a foot apart with a line of chairs behind them for those waiting their turn. The visits are by appointment so theoretically there should not be a lot of people there at once I guess, but still....not very private, not very conducive to prayer time together. On the prisoners end it looks even less private from what I could see through the camera. But we did get a visit, and L is doing "okay" and counting the days until December 10.
So today I am grateful for all those creative minds that develop technology that allows us to be in touch in ways we could not before....to be where we are not able to be physically, to meet and know people we would otherwise never encounter, to expand our world and who give us things with which to stretch ourselves when we think we are done learning.