As I thought about the take-out cup of hot chocolate, I remembered a funeral I attended a number of years ago. It was for the mother of a student. I had also taught his older siblings.
Staff and some relatives were invited to sit at the front of the church. We faced the opposite side of the church and were directly across from the choir. If I looked over my right shoulder, I could see the bulk of the congregation. My student and his family were seated in the front row.
Shortly after the service began, you guessed it, a cell phone rang. The sound could be heard coming from the back of the church. I thought, how unfortunate but wasn’t surprised as this phenomenon was becoming more and more common in recent times. At least it would serve as a reminder to others packing telephones.
A short time later, another phone rang. I looked straight across and saw a member of the choir scrambling to retrieve her phone. She found it and pressed a button. The ringing stopped. Ten seconds passed and then the phone rang again. This time she opted to answer it and exited through a side door. UNBELIEVABLE! Even if she were waiting for word on a double lung transplant there was no excuse for not having the device on vibrate-only.
We reached the point in the service when the communion was served. Many made their way to the front of the church to receive a wafer of bread. The person seated next to me also made her way to the front, as did others in my section. She left her purse on the seat next to me. I sat alone.
You guessed it again. A phone inside the purse started ringing, and it wasn’t a quiet, subtle ring. It was loud. And it rang … and rang … and rang. I could feel people staring in my direction. I didn’t flinch at all but simply stared downward. And I prayed, not for the soul of the dearly departed, but for the phone to stop ringing. My next instinct was to hold the purse in the air and mime some sort of this is not my purse signal. I also thought about stomping on it. I fought these temptations. It eventually stopped.
So that’s four, FOUR times phones rang during the service. What should have been a celebration of life became a showcase of technology.
1 Peter 1:15 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do”, does not apply in this case.
I have a simple solution to this problem. I leave my phone in my car.
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