It all began when my cellular device accidentally went through the washing machine for an entire 60-minute cycle. I couldn’t believe what I had done when I spied its bright pink case as I transferred the rest of the bedsheets into the dryer. Nooooo! I disliked Siri, but tumble-drying her seemed a bit harsh, so I plucked out my smartphone and immediately submerged it into a bag of rice, remembering reading that was the recipe to resuscitate it after drowning.
As luck (my luck at least!) would have it, a grain of rice wedged itself into the speaker’s tiny crevice and thus began my intricate surgery with tweezers, needles, safety pins, and the sharp metal teeth of a lice comb….yes ewww! With zero success, I resigned myself to having a working phone but without any sound, while my wisecracking teenager suggested I run it through the washing machine to dislodge the rice.
For days I learned to make do. I changed my outgoing message so it advised people to please text or email me instead. For the stubborn few that refused to do that, I relied heavily on the transcription my cellphone would type out for me as it played back someone’s totally garbled, muffled voicemail. Yesterday came this surprising and miraculous interpretation:
Yes, this is God calling on Wednesday afternoon. I understand you’re dissatisfied with the service you’ve been receiving. I’ll try you again soon to discuss.
Seriously? Oh my God! How did he get my number? (And I hope my number isn’t up!) I wouldn’t say I was ‘dissatisfied’ with his service, but a few more of my prayers could’ve easily been answered. And when I said “God bless you” to my kids after they sneezed, he might’ve done a little something extra for them, I mean it’s not like they’re adults wanting a new car or a job — they’d be totally thrilled with a silly party favor or discovering an extra cookie on their life path.
I looked at my incoming log to see about getting back to him (how can you ignore God’s calling??) fully expecting it to be listed as “Blocked” or “Unknown Caller” but there was an actual 1-800 number. Just like God to arrange to be reachable to the masses toll-free! But then I realized with the rice jamming my speaker, there still wouldn’t be clear audio, and I’d hate to keep saying “Pardon?” and wasting God’s time in case he wasn’t enrolled in the unlimited minutes plan.
I re-recorded my outgoing message, this time with a emphatic plea. “Hi this is Stephanie, but Good Lord please PLEASE text me because my speaker is broken!” I then excitedly entered God’s phone number into my contacts with his name in all capital letters followed by three exclamation points. (Three seemed like an appropriate number because of all that trinity stuff, even though I’m Jewish.) I also decided to give God his own ring-tone as well — The William Tell Overture.
And sure enough this time he followed directions and my screen lit up with a text from “GOD!!!” Here is an exact replication of our text chat.
“GOD!!!” — Hi. When is a good time to pop on over?
(Good heavens! I needed time to clean up my house and maybe cook something spectacular to serve. Wow just think ….soon I’ll be serving God.)
Me: Gosh, um well about how long do you think you’ll stay?
GOD!!! — With any luck at all, it won’t take long.
Me: Oh I don’t think you’ll need luck. I have total faith in you.
GOD!!! — How refreshing. A month ago you cursed me out.
Me: If I EVER did that, I want to humbly apologize. I beg of you.
GOD!!! — You’re forgiven. That’s just the way I roll. But with a few quick adjustments, you’ll be good to go watching Life Time in a flash!
Me: Oh no! I don’t want to watch my Life flash before my eyes. I know what that means.
GOD!!! — No worries! But if there’s a man, he’ll be glad I’m stopping over before the big fight tonight.
Me: (bashfully) Oh God, there IS a special guy in my life right now. All thanks to you. And I appreciate your heads up that there will be a fight. We never argue, but I’ll bake some brownies to appease him just in case.
GOD!!! — Sure, whatever.
(Wait till my kids hear that they’re in such good company saying, “whatever!” and “No worries!”)
As I nervously awaited God’s visit, my mother called. I answered on the first ring and told her I was tied up writing an article I was about to submit to Redbook magazine. As an atheist, I knew she’d never believe I would be busy entertaining God. My cell rang again and I let it go into voicemail but quickly glanced at the transcript to make sure it wasn’t God calling to say he was caught in traffic.
“Hi, it’s your Dom. I’m wondering if you’re still tied up? I want to discuss your submission.”
What kind of a kinky message was this? Wait. A. Second. It was becoming clear to me now. My cell’s transcribing app had mistakenly typed the word “Dom” instead of “Mom.”
And that’s why just three minutes later, after the door knocked loudly three (of course three!) times, I was completely prepared to see standing on my doorstep not God (in the flesh!) but instead …. Rod, (acting a little fresh!) that obnoxious millennial worker from my local cable company here to fix my poor television reception.