My life as a digital disciple began about 18 years ago. I had already built a couple computers and was using the latest Palm handheld, the Palm IIIx. But, I carried a paper Bible, a worn NIV.
Our youngest daughter was born five years earlier with Down syndrome. We were blessed that she did not have many of the serious health conditions that sometimes accompany Down syndrome. But, she did require dental surgery and the dental surgery required a general anesthesia. She came through the surgery OK. but there were two unexpected side effects. The first is that we learned she is allergic to the adhesive in surgical tape. It causes nasty red welts. The second was that she was afraid to fall asleep. We couldn’t blame her for that. The last time we had talked her into falling asleep she woke up with itchy tape on her arms and her mouth hurt. As a result, the only way to get her to fall asleep was to sit quietly with her, in her room, with all the lights off and wait. If we dared leave too soon, she would wake up and the process started all over again.
The sleep duty went on for days and weeks. I tried to use my shift as time to pray, But, my prayer time would turn into complaining to God about being stuck in the dark. Then one night while I was complaining, I remembered that the IIIx had a back-lit screen. I pulled it out and held down the power button. There it was, glowing blue text on a dark background.
The quest had begun. I was off to the local Christian bookstore. I browsed the shelves and found the NIV Bible software for Palm. I started my first one-year Bible reading plan that night. I continued to read the Bible on several more Palm devices, an iPhone,an Android phone, and now my iPad. I have a shelf of paper Bibles that see very little use. But, I have read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation over 15 times on a small glowing screen. My notes and highlights have followed me from device to device and translation to translation.
Sarah falls asleep on her own now, usually on the sofa before bed time. Ten years ago, I became the General Counsel of the Christian bookstore where I bought my first digital Bible. I still have my old Palm IIIx and probably always will.
The journey continues and I press on to take hold of that for which Christ has taken hold of me.