Inspired by or, perhaps, baited by memories of that video, I found myself wanting to play with a phisher the other day.
Admittedly, this brings us to one major gulf in my relationship with Kathy. She’s over there thinking (even, now, with or about this post), “Jim, why would you go there?!?!?”
Meanwhile, I am over here – chuckling and thinking, “isn’t that fun and funny?!
It all began, as they say, simply enough. A text message from friend and now District Superintendent, Rev. Steve Woody (with accurate address given)...
Somewhere in here, Veitch’s TED Talk came to mind – even if in a very subconscious way – so that I found myself replying, within a minute or so…
I wondered about Steve’s humanness as his next words were a bit out of touch with this reply – raising suspicions of a bot (an automated computer program that operates as an agent for a user or other program or to simulate a human activity)…
A certain tension asserted itself somewhere in here. No, it wasn’t any kind of embarrassment or guilt about wasting time with “Steve.” No, qualms that my pleasure was at someone else’s expense. In fact, there was a sense of pride – that I was distracting “Steve” from phishing others. And so, spurred on somewhat by memories of the TED Talk, I continued – with a certain joy and excitement in the pursuit. Still, I wanted and needed to get on with other things. (I guess coming up with Ted Talk material takes a lot more patience than I have.)
Yes, it was time to move on… but, not without one last attempt to invite “Steve” into the Light…
And, then, in the hopes that he was still there – and alive (or in a place to really [humanly] absorb and perhaps share my closing lines with others)…
Not wanting to totally give up the hunting, I waited awhile and sent one last message….
Of course, the question might arise: “And so what, Jim? Why take the time to share this?”
- Perhaps for the invitation to laugh – at least, at James Veitch’s Ted Talk. (To be sure, Kathy and I did raise the question of whether Jesus would have laughed at the TED Talk — having fun at someone else’s expense. Though she did playfully add, “But, then, he never had to deal with folks spamming and scamming on his emails and texts.” [Maybe there’s hope for her yet?!?])
- There’s certainly the public service announcement embedded in this message: of our need to be careful as we are engaging with others through our social media and electronics… Everything is not as it seems.
- Certainly, there’s the theological message (related to the above): namely, as David Wilcox puts it in his song Show the Way, “there is evil cast among us” – or, at least, there’s something diabolical woven into our existence that seeks to “kill and steal and destroy” (John 10:10)
- Yes, there’s the invitation to pray for the “Steves” of the world… My real friend, Steve Woody, yes. But, more, for those who steal identities and seek self-gain. (And here, I can see the potential for another post, down the line – about the ways that I, myself, have been about “identity” scams… in the interest of my own self-interest and gain.)
- Finally, it’s certainly not lost to me:
the ways this kind of post may point to real ways
that I am in need of prayer:
for recovery from a quirky sense of what’s fun and funny
and, probably, for not paying more attention
to the ways that God and Spirit speak through Kathy…