The Intentional Connection

Mimi has upgraded her iPhone and is slowly adjusting to it. Lately, she has been visiting her setting's app more times than she would care to count! I have gotten in on some of the resets. I was pulling the comforter on my bed back recently and heard what I thought was her signature phone ringtone sounding very loudly from one of the extra bedrooms. Upon investigation, I discovered it was a back-up iPad ringing FaceTime instead.

When I opened the device to power it down, I was surprised to see our five-year-old granddaughter in all of her beauty. I immediately said, “Hello, sweet girl, what are you doing back here in Mimi’s work room?” Without responding to my funny question, she simply greeted me, “Hi Poppi!” That kid melts my heart every time she calls! Even though she and her family just returned home to New Mexico from a two-week visit here in Illinois, she still loves to talk with us face to face! It’s a connection we can’t resist!

Face-to-Face Connection
Image Credit:

Monique and I frequently reminisce how modern technology makes it easier to live at great distances from some of our family members. Mobile applications like WhatsApp and FaceTime enable us to audibly and visually keep up with our family from Texas to New Mexico to France and some other places included! 

Back in the day, Monique’s mother and aunt tried to keep up with each other by way of cassette-taped messages mailed by "snail mail" from Illinois to France. They could only afford to treat themselves to a live phone call once a year on Christmas day because of the expense. The visual dimension of today’s advancements in telecommunications makes phone connections so much more enhanced and affordable!

The Apostle Paul reminds us of face-to-face interaction at the level of a spiritual connection. Poetically speaking about the impact of love and a future time of perfect understanding, he explained, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV). In this verse, he was speaking eschatologically about the time when Christ comes again. (Paul writes an extended explanation about "last things" in chapter fifteen of 1 Corinthians.)

There is a lot about our lives that is a mystery. We don’t understand why things happen as they do. Too often, chaos and disorder seem to be our normal reality. Our hope is in Christ who is coming someday to usher in a new age of peace and order where faith, hope and love are the enduring realities. The Son of God has declared, “Behold, I am coming soon (and I) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4; 22:7, 12 NIV).

Not that long ago, I had a close friend ask me, “Hey, when are we going to “do coffee?” I tried to excuse my neglect by replying, “We routinely chat with each other on the phone!” That's when he tersely countered, “That’s not the same!” I understood what he meant! This latest outbreak of yet another Covid-19 variant has many of us in “relational retreat” these days. We are anxiously awaiting a better season when “doing coffee” will not be considered a risky venture… caffeinated or not!

These days, during my sessions of self-talk, I seem to be thinking a lot about this phrase: "Keep looking up in faith!" I believe Christ is coming someday soon and that we'll see Him face-to-face when He does! But in the meantime, we must also keep looking outward for ways to connect with others! A great many of those close to us need a face-to-face connection. 

Let’s continue to engage in intentional and extended connections by phone, FaceTime and when possible, in person! Others are counting on us!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.




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