During the middle of the service at our great church Judson Memorial on Sunday there came a point when assistant minister Michael Ellick introduced soloist John Cormier who would sing a song – Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” The minister invited people in the congregation to get out their cell phones and call their mothers and we would all sing with the soloist. Unfortunately I left my phone at home (who needs a cell phone in church?) but people all around snapped out their phones and called their mothers: “Hi Mom, I am in church and am supposed to call you so now hold on and listen to this.” People ran up to the altar table with an arm out-stretched holding up their phone to the soloist. We all sang and the singing got louder and louder so that all the mothers on the other ends could hear. Up at the altar table were young and old, men and women, gay and straight singing out to their mom with the congregation behind. Little silver cell phones twinkled in the light, reaching out love to mothers across the land. Ain’t technology great? It was moving to watch as it unfolded – an unexpected, unrehearsed moment of pure joy.
And next year I’m bringing my phone.