r u thr, God?

at 11:35 PM

My five-year-old daughter, Maya, blurted out recently that she was texting God. I asked her what she was saying. She started reciting random numbers, before settling on 1,1,1,1. She obviously has a firm understanding of the nature of monotheism, the oneness of God.

I still tried to box her into an answer, so I asked again. She finally told me that God brings out the stars. The stars are important in our home since my wife died last August. I've told her that Mommy is a star in heaven, so Maya has something concrete to gaze at in the night sky.

Maya may have combined her fascination with the cosmos, the place her mother resides, with contacting or texting God. I know people leave crumpled notes to God in the cracks and crevices of Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, but texting God is so 21st century.

It is also part of today's younger generation. One high school student told me that she sent out or received 15,000 messages in one month. AT&T said the average teenager punches out about 3,500 per 30-day period.

My thirteen-year-old son, Miguel, like almost everyone under 30, is enamored with the technology of cell phones and iPods. He actually wondered, when informed that iPods and cell phones are relatively new technologies and were not part of my childhood, how I could've lived back then. He was convinced it must have been very boring.

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I've grudgingly accepted texting, yet another impersonal form of communication, because it is an effective way to stay in touch with my teenager. He recently texted me at Maya's 5th birthday party. He was sitting immediately to my right.

Maya just wants to be like her big brother. She owns three or four toy Disney cellphones, and hears him and me talking about texting.

But texting God? Maybe she is onto something. Reinvent an impersonal but convenient technology by connecting to the Divine. Call it prayer for the generation on the go. A possible direct line to an obviously over-worked Deity. I wonder if this kind of thing is covered by my unlimited texting plan.

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With a Perspective, this is Steven Friedman.

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