the iPhone and 'the other side'

July 26, 2016




The iPhone: It simultaneously allows us to know our world better......and our neighbors less.


While waiting to order at Paneras yesterday, I noted that most of my fellow customers had their gazes affixed to their cell phones and, judging by their flurrying fingers, texting people elsewhere.

Those who were bodily present were ignored in order that those who were not could be vigorously attended to.


How does one display the beauty of Christ, however clumsily and proximately, when it comes to our use of communication technology?


Jesus was once asked what the greatest commandment, 'loving God and one's neighbor,' consisted of. He replied with a story about a Samaritan who, in a public setting, stopped, assisted and attended to, the healing of an assaulted man laying by the side of the road.


What set the Samaritan apart was his willingness to notice the (physical) world around him, stop and restore his (physical) neighbor (physically). 

Others, by contrast, 'passed by on the other side,' which sounds a lot like they were physically present but attentionally absent or averse. 

Their gaze was elsewhere. The other side was simply more comfortable, less likely to disrupt other important obligations.


Might using our iPhone in public be a more modest version of 'passing by on the other side?'


I know this warrants a much longer and more nuanced conversation, but for starters, lemme ask this: 

Might shutting down our i/cell Phones in public places, be a good way to begin, 'loving God and our neighbor as ourselves?'

Put another way, might it be good to respect, and be constrained by, the physical world that God made......and called, 'good?' 


P.S. Many thanks to for their fabulous pics




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