A Christmas Telephone Call Meditation
Dear old and new friends,
As Christmas approaches, family or friends living afar often telephone to visit and extend holiday greetings. Alexander Bell’s invention of the telephone was more than a technological marvel, it was a miracle of holy communion that unites across the miles people with one another.
This week before Christmas imagine that your telephone rings and when you answer it a voice says, “This is the Whitehouse. Please stay on the line for President Obama.” Imagine your amazement or how your mind would conjure up questions to ask him. As you waited, imagine your eagerness to tell friends and family about this once-in-a-lifetime phone call?
Or say your telephone rings and an Italian-accented voice said, “This is Rome with a call from the Vatican. Please stay on the line; Pope Francis would like to visit with you.” After overcoming your original shock you think, “Why me? I’m no cardinal or bishop, but I had heard the pope does call ordinary people.” Then that Italian accented voice comes back on the line, “Grazie for holding. Please continue to do so since His Holiness is eager to speak with you, and will be with you shortly.” As you wait, wouldn’t you begin to think of questions you wanted to ask or perhaps request him to pray for your sick cousin? Or say that you receive a telephone call from the Dali Lama…or perhaps the Archbishop of Canterbury…or even Billy Graham, how would you respond?
Now reflect on an even more astonishing possibility. Your phone rings, and when you answer you hear a serene angelic voice say, “This is Heaven calling. Please stay on the line for a telephone call….” Naturally you would dismiss it as some crazy prank until you recalled seeing an advertisement for the bestselling author Mitch Albom’s newest book, The First Phone Call from Heaven. And in that advertisement what caught your eye in large type was, “What if the end is not the end?”
Take your time now to pause in reading this reflection to seriously consider from whom among your deceased family or friends you would like to visit? While involved in contemplating this suddenly you realize that the caller might not be a deceased family member, but God! Instantly calculating the exceedingly incredible consequences if that was who was about to speak with you, would you continue to hold or would you push the “off” button to end the call?