Texting with Jesus

My new iPhone 6 has been acting up a bit lately. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the phone, and yet…I’m a little hesitant to say that I think Jesus is sending me messages.

I know. I know. I just drifted into that weird place occupied by church ladies and crazed wingnuts on TV.

It isn’t like that. Really. And I don’t think I’m crazy. It’s just…I realize that God can use everything, everywhere, at his disposal to shake me up. To speak to me.

It has been my prayer, to hear what He has to say. And now that I seem to have a direct line, well…I’m kind of stepping back and discounting it.

For years I’ve heard people say how they hear the Lord speak to them. I’ve often said the same thing, not because I heard the words, but because circumstances have lined up in such a way that I was able to discern meaning from it. Perhaps that’s because I don’t really think in words, but in pictures. I tend to sense rather that see/hear communication. In fact, I’d rather have a warm hug than hear the words “I love you.” Ok, I’ll take both, but my default setting is for the hug.

So, it’s always made sense to me that God’s voice was probably not going to come on over the PA system.

And yet…I’ve told Him on more than one occasion that I’d like a memo detailing what He wants me to do. Recently, sitting before the Blessed Sacrament during a much needed break in my busy week, I realized that I could talk to Jesus, should talk to Jesus, about as often as I sent a text message in my day. Or played Words with Friends.

It was a funny thought, but I ran with it. I actually think it’s a pretty sound approach to spontaneous prayer. Why not reach out to Him with a little love note in the day. A request for an intention. A note to just say hi.

Why not indeed? I do it all the time with my friends and family. I’ll send a random note with a smile to just say hello or I’m thinking of you. I’ve sent out an S.O.S. in this way, too. Or just taken a break in my schedule to connect with someone who is far away.

So I started to do this. I started to text with Jesus.

I was not prepared to have Him respond. Literally.

Since switching over to my new phone, an app I purchased a while ago has randomly opened. What the name of the app? Words with Jesus. I kid you not. In fact, here’s today’s entry:

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That popped open in my pocket while I was walking across campus. Seriously.

Last week, on a busy day that was getting busier by the minute, I thought I heard a voice and pulled my phone out of my pocket. It was Fr. Gaitley’s voice, reciting the Rosary. I hadn’t prayed the Rosary that day.

Yesterday, my phone was sitting on my desk as I worked, and the screen opened up to reveal yesterday’s Gospel. It’s not easy for Laudate to just open to the Gospel reading. The reading blew me away a little, too.

Look. I don’t know what to make of this. It could just be a series of coincidences. I have the Words with Jesus app set to send me the entry at a specific time. I use the Marian’s Rosary app almost every day on my commute. Laudate is one of my go to apps in the morning. There’s a logical explanation, probably stemming from the fact that I never, ever, close out my apps until one of my kids grabs my phone and does it, accompanied by their judgy shaking heads. So. Technology.

But I’d rather think I’m texting with Jesus, and He texts back.

Qi

letter_q_erteQi.

My new go-to play in Words with Friends.

I don’t even know what it means. Well, yes, I kinda know, but let’s go look at the dictionary together. Obviously, if you’re doing this A to Z Challenge, you must love words as much as I do.

So qi, also spelled chi or ch’i, is a Chinese principle that is an underlying part of every living thing. Or something like that. When the article described it as kind of like “the force” in Star Wars, I lost interest.

Instead, I’ll share with you my love of Scrabble and Words with Friends, and why I think qi is both a cop-out and a brilliant play!

I first played Scrabble with my mom, who is a big time puzzle player. To this day she always has those crossword books you get in the grocery check out line lying around, often missing one or two words to complete the puzzle. She doesn’t cheat.

Let me say that again…she doesn’t cheat. I admire that. She will, however, ask for help so she can learn new words. Did I say my mother works on these puzzles in English? Did I say my mother’s first language is not English? I think she learned English watching episodes of Ironside and Marcus Welby and then working on the TV Guide crossword puzzle.

Impressive, if you ask me.

But she probably never played qi.  I don’t play scrabble to win. Well. No, that’s not true — I like to win. Let me rephrase that. Part of the delight of playing Scrabble is coming up with awesome words. Elegant placements that use lots of crosswords and and neat uses of letters are sometimes more fun that racking up points.

The problem is, you need points to win. Q is a lousy letter that requires a friendly U to accompany it, and that’s not always possible. Also, nobody wants to be caught in the endgame with a Q to reverse fortunes at the last minute.

Enter qi. The perfect little letter for unloading the Q in a hurry. That’s the cop-out if you play it too early in the game instead of looking for a neat word like quinoa.

Do you have a “safe” word for Scrabble or WWF?