The Bitter-Sweetness of SKYPING

Today we had the opportunity to SKYPE—to see and talk with our son and daughter-in-law and to see and hear our granddaughter. Our son and daughter-in-law lived about an hour away from us until recently, which was great. They spent every Christmas with us which also was a great blessing for us (I trust it was for them too).

However, all of this changed over this past summer. My son had been planning to attend grad school for a number of years. He enrolled in the program at the University of Missouri in Kansas City to study music composition. They moved in July.

Previous to this move, on January 12 at 12:01 am, our first grandchild was born. Her name was Camille Geneva and she was also about an hour away (with our son and daughter-in-law, of course). We got to see her fairly often, especially my wife. This was another great blessing.

However, when my son and daughter-in-law moved to Kansas City they took our granddaughter with them (how could they?). Now she is a plane ride away and our visits with her so far have been limited to SKYPING.

Don’t get me wrong—we are happy that our son got the chance to go to grad school. It is encouraging to see him moving on in his life. The family seems to be fitting in nicely in Kansas City. We had hoped to be at least semi-frequent visitors but our financial situation does not allow that at the present time.

So we are limited to SKYPING. This has been a bitter-sweet practice for us. It is great to talk to our son and daughter-in-law and to actually see them while we are talking. It is great to see Camille and all the little things she is doing that she did not do before. And the kids are good about keeping us updated with pictures and videos.

But it hit me today that to Camille we are just strangers on the computer screen. As difficult as it is to admit, it is true. We would like to think that it really is something more but, when it comes to SKYPING that is the reality. That is the bitterness.

Of course, there is a much deeper tie that even the strangeness of the SKYPING situation cannot undo. Camille is part of our physical and spiritual heritage. No distance or absence can ever change that and, in a significant and spiritual way, we will always be a part of who she is. We love her with an undying love and were praying for her even before she was born. We trust that the Lord will guard her and guide her and that she will grow up living a God-glorifying life.

So, for now, we enjoy the sweetness that SKYPING brings and trust the Lord for the rest.


About Dr. John H. Harbison

Son of God, Husband, Father, Author of "Keeping Christ in Ministry,"Vice-President for Academic Affairs, College Pastor, Runner, Writer
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3 Responses to The Bitter-Sweetness of SKYPING

  1. Technology is great, but you are right, there are deeper ties that cannot be expressed in a digital mode — the physical and spiritual heritage. I like your concluding sentence — of trusting the Lord for the rest, i.e., beyond what Skype could offer. Praise God for all His blessings, especially grandchildren! (I hope to partake of this blessing one day, hopefully in the near future! 🙂 )

  2. I join your praise for grandchildren – both in the now and in the not yet

  3. What a blessing that your granddaughter has praying grandparents; many children do not.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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