Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran Pastor with a congregation in Denver, CO. She is also one of my favorite writers. I appreciate her way with words, her wisdom, her questions, her enthusiasm for community and ministry.
As often happens when browsing the web, encounters are wildly serendipitous, eclectic, non-linear, creative, astounding. Though posted just before All Saints Sunday in 2011 Nadia’s experience, question, and subsequent synthesis is timeless. Here’s Nadia:
Saturday, October 29th, 2011, 10:00 a.m.: I start composing a text to a friend named Jim when my iPhone starts auto-filling the Jim names from my contact list. Jim Gonia? Jim Hassberg? I swallow hard. Jim Hassberg was the gay brother of my high school boyfriend. My relationship with Jim survived years after my relationship with his brother ended. We were young alcoholics living a crazy, hard-drinking, delirious, urban life in tandem. But in December of 1991, I got sober and Jimmy didn’t. Last fall he drank himself to death alone in his apartment. In the flash of an iPhone auto-fill, I remember it all and forget for a moment what I was doing in the first place.
Saturday, October 29th, 2011, 10:03 a.m.: I throw up a Tweet (which goes to Facebook as well): I simply can’t bear to delete the contact info of my dead friends but it makes me sad every time I see their names and numbers. Anyone else?
Almost 30 people respond, most of whom write something like …
Continue reading, it is well worth it: New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary: Remembering “All Saints” through auto-fill.
So you know: the contact info for my dead friends, parishioners I have worked with, even family, are still in my contacts; when the information is encountered it is a moment of remembering and prayer for the saints who have blessed my life.