Can You Solve This Riddle?


Mom is not a telephone person.  Most of the time in Brazil she did not have one.  When they did get a phone, calls to the States were prohibitively expensive.  When I called her in Brazil she was happy to chat, but never initiated for obvious reasons.

Now she is in the States where calls are cheap.  Ken got her a cell phone, programmed it with all the necessary numbers and put the six kids on auto dial to make it easy.

She is still not a phone person, preferring to do most communication via e-mail or live.

But widows find out quickly that the tsunami of paperwork and decisions based on missing information requires a lot of communication.  Therefore, I have been getting a lot of calls from Mom.  The record was six conversations in a day.

Now mind you, these are not touchy-feely conversations.  They are short, focused, business calls.  Any emoting she might do is done with family that is present, or by e-mail.

Did I mention she is not a phone person?

Now, Ken logically programmed into her phone my cell phone number.  Small problem.  That is the absolute worst way to get in touch with me.

I don’t like sitting on lumps, so as soon as I get to work, the keys, wallet and phone are out of my pocket and into the desk drawer for the rest of the day.  I check the cell phone when I go home.

The phone is ALWAYS on vibrate.  Half the time I miss the calls if I am driving or in the store, or otherwise have it on my body.  I don’t wear hide tight britches.

At home, I have a very poor signal, so unless angels are doing their supernatural cell phone signal booster thing, you won’t get through to me at home.  (Insert super-sized happy face here).

When I am on the road, I can’t answer it in the airplane, probably won’t feel it vibrate in the airport, and won’t answer it during any meetings or training.

My cell phone is great for leaving messages via phone, text or e-mail, but it is your worst option for a live phone call.  Been this way for years.

Hmmm . . . me thinks I just committed a Freudian slip.  Wonder if I am not overly much of a phone person myself — at least as far as cell phones go.  (CanyouhearmeNOW?!  Loath it).  The apples don’t fall far . . .

Now, against that backdrop, since Dad has died, Mom has connected with me live 100% of the times she has tried.  She catches me in the airport.  I hear the phone in the car.  She calls as I step out of a meeting.  She gets me in the office, on the road, at home or in the grocery store.

100% of the time.  Stunning.

Like today.

We recorded the first CD of “A Hard Life.”  Gabi was the audio technician since Megan was off doing the important things in life, like getting up on one water ski for the first time in her life.  Yay Megan.  Rock it.

Gabi said to tell you that it will be a really good series and to be sure and listen to the one about the Gadarene Demoniac.  She says I took a really different twist on it than anyone else she ever heard preach on it.

Moi?!

But I digress.

When we record, I work off the notes on my laptop where my beloved brain mapping program is.  Works better than paper or my memory.

Yesterday I ran down my cell phone battery and was so weary I forgot to charge it last night.  I am rather obsessive compulsive about not having a dead battery (or a full voice mail box — hint, hint!)

Since my laptop was at work, I pulled the cell phone out of the drawer and plugged it into the laptop to charge.  Mister Use Available Resources.

We started recording, the phone rang, I was furious at myself for being so stupid as to leave the phone on when we so carefully shut off all the other phones in the front office while recording.  I noticed it was mother and emotionally turned on a dime like only a Prophet can, promptly forgave myself and picked up the call.

Gabi has promised to edit out the phone call from the master, since the mic was still on my head during our conversation.

Mom was direct and to the point.  We resolved the question.  She hung up briskly and I went back to nattering about Esther and the facets of her life Gabi had not thought about before.  (Gabi recommends that track too!)

On the back burner, I pondered how far God reached for that one.  I have NEVER recorded with the cell phone plugged into the laptop before.  But through an extraordinary series of events over two days, He rigged it, executed perfectly and Mom’s record is still 100%.

Think about it.  The two most phone friendly Exhorters in the US do not score 100% connectivity.  The two most deeply bonded Mercy gifts who talk to each other six times a day don’t score 100% connectivity.

And the Mom who doesn’t do phones and her son who disparagingly refers to his cell phone as The Leash, have 100% connectivity.

So, bottom line:  it is supernatural.

Now here is the riddle.  What flavor of supernatural?

Option A:     This is the sovereignty of God, overriding our mutual neuroses about phones, in order to bond us together through ease of communication in a time of difficult transition.

Option B:     Mom has a niche anointing for timing that I have never seen before, because Dad always made the communication decisions in the home.  I also knew nothing about niche anointings 50 years ago when I was underfoot, so if she had it then, I wouldn’t have noticed it.  Not to mention my being a remarkably self-absorbed teenager!

Option C:     When God divvied up the generational blessings from Dad, He chose to give that gift to Mom instead of one of the kids (or possibly Mom AND one of the kids).

Option D:     Mom’s spirit is tightly bonded to mine and knows things the soul cannot possibly know, so she calls when her spirit says I am available.

We have four live options.  How would you determine the nature of this ongoing miracle?

Now this is not a poll where you get to vote your gut feeling.   This is a good Sapphire exercise in thinking deeply and reasoning from the available data.  Write your comments, explaining why you think it is one or another, if you have reason to support your theory, or ask me for additional data that would help you solve the riddle.

Put your thinking caps on and demonstrate some excellence in detective work here. This is the stuff of life — reverse engineering the works of God to learn some fun things about His heart and His strategies.

Copyright July 2013 by Arthur Burk

From home, wearily, but savoring the good gift from a good Father

This entry was posted in Awe, Family News, The Human Spirit, Whimsical Observations. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Can You Solve This Riddle?

  1. Glenn says:

    If it’s ‘A,’ it’ll probably go away with time…40 days…amount of time it took Joseph to grieve his father’s death.
    If it’s ‘B,’ the niche anointing would have been there before she married.
    If it’s ‘C,’ did your sibs get some form of blessing you didn’t receive?
    If it’s ‘D,’ she’ll report she feels a ‘special something’ with you, like because of your success in the spiritual sphere of life, she trusts you more easily as that has been her focus.

    I, too, feel weird attempting to answer, especially after listening to what Sandra and Anthony had to say. It may be possible they both understand better than would can be arrived at by reverse engineering!

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  2. Sue Taylor says:

    Perhaps those with a God-given sensitivity for timing in communications prefer email as it can be sent and/or received at precisely the right time for both sender and receiver – even when those times are different from one another. I wonder if those with the redemptive gift of Giver quite commonly have an aversion to telephone communications – unless phone calls (sent or received) are in alignment with right timing. And then I wonder if there is a particular “for a season” anointing on time specific to the needs of recent widows and/or orphans – which then works to make phone calls with Mom fall into right timing 100% of the time.

    Although the timing may not always be convenient by our measuring sticks – connectivity has been made remarkably possible. It seems like the anointing would have to be functioning on both ends for 100% connectivity – but it could be that just one person with it can be the vessel for this anointing to flow. One way to test this would be to know if Mom has 100% connectivity with others who are meeting her needs – but are not grieving children of the husband/father who has gone home.

    Whatever the answer is – I appreciate you sharing the rich texture of good gifts from a very good Father. Beautiful.

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  3. Sandra Schamel says:

    Arthur: I can’t believe I have the nerve to answer. I’ve read, listened to you for a few years. I’m 71 but a novice in your areas of expertce. I still haven’t figured out my redemptive gift. A little bit of several fit. I do know how our God loves us. So my answer is simple and not profound. So I will answer what my spirit is touching on. Your mom and dad were close partners in every way. There is a huge hole in her life and although her children love her and will try their best to make up for some of the loss, They can’t totally succeed. God can. He is meeting her needs as only He can. He always partnered with her but His role has expanded to fill that empty space now left by a husband who was physically at her side. So her communications are quickly responded to by a loving God who is just as close as her husband was.

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    • SLG says:

      Thanks Sandra. Glad you pushed through the nervousness.

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    • Sarah Elizabeth says:

      Yay Sandra!!! We are on the same page!!! We are also “first timers” with all these deep people. Thank you for stepping out! I know how that feels, I just did it last week. Have a great week xx Sarah Elizabeth.

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  4. Anthony Sutherland says:

    The first thing to mind is Jesus handing responsibility for Mary to John and the implications for Father’s heart. The second is that, as a mercy I will not have conversations of any depth on the phone yet I can converse at great length and depth face to face and I have concluded that I need to have a sense of the other person’s spirit as a level of communication and this is difficult over the phone. Indeed in a critical point in a conversation I will often leave for a short time to limit the spiritual input from others so that I can hear more clearly what my spirit is saying – so my inference is that your mother may not be responding out of wounding, but for other “instinctive reasons”.

    I suspect that your compassion has allowed you to be used by Father especially as your soul tie to her is very strong, perhaps stronger that the tie you had to your father.

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  5. Just listened to YouTube – it’s there about timing and the Giver. But here’s the “kicker” – the Giver knows when a person’s heart is ready to hear something! Could it be that God knows that your Giver portion has something to say to mom, OR, perhaps her Giver portion has something to say to you? This morning on my bike ride to school I was thinking about you and your mom. I think it’s significant that for all those years you were completely out of touch with her, except for visits and skype (?) Is God wanting to make a spectacle of the enemy by using the thing that couldn’t be done (phone calls) become absurdly easy for her and supernaturally miraculous for you? Is it important that it’s through the phone that you and she say something for which there’s a window of time?

    I’ll stop rambling. Thank you for letting us all take part in this story~

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  6. don hank says:

    Without disagreeing with so many good answers; I have always looked at psalm 74:14 (Leviathan being the food handed for the Israelites in the desert) as huge. You taught on communication in sound of the 5th head and you have GREAT sound there with you Arthur. Maybe even strange bubble of sound post of 3 weeks ago is a extra example. Therefore I would seek to see what 2 people following the right actions over time might bring about (as an addition to possible niche’s etc. already discussed) when the people are much physically closer. But probably not enough information on; if your mom had Leviathan majorly on her side before She came back to your country. Just a additional thought.

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