By Derek Maul


When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9.

Have you ever taken a half-dozen photographs, five of which are perfectly clear, only to discover that the image that tells the story best is the one where the camera decided to focus on some random object in the foreground?

That’s what happened the other day, when I looked up from my work to see Rebekah Skyping with our grandchildren, drawn into the small screen on my iPad as if it were a clear window, with David and Beks right there, caught in a fracture in space-time, where she could reach in and touch them both.

I grabbed my phone and framed up a series of photographs. The heart of the story was captured best in just the one image, but it was slightly out of focus.

I’m not that technical. I can be trained, but I don’t have that intuitive ability to understand what’s happening between the bits and the bytes, the ones and the zeros, the keyboard and the code, the computer and The Cloud. But I do see story, I see the very real connection between human beings, I see the spiritual interface.

My fuzzy picture tells me there is no technology so powerful as the connection between human souls. Skype, Verizon, my iPad, Google Chrome, and OS-X all served to facilitate something more real than any hardware or software.

Rebekah was home for lunch. “I want to see my grandchildren,” she said. Three-year-old David heard Skype go off in Richmond before his mother. Just a few seconds later they were “with” their grandmama.

How finely tuned are your connections? With your spouse? Your children? Your parents? Your friends? Your God? This is what makes life real! Not the technology of connection, but the authenticity, and the depth, of the connection.

Our relationships are more important than life itself.


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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at