What You Miss When You Miss Church

Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? Luke 2:49




The sound of a modem connecting to the internet can be disconcerting the first time you hear it.

The uninitiated might conclude this is how robots communicate with one another or that aliens have finally invaded earth, or worse yet, that his or her computer is about to explode. For all of you youngsters out there who have not had the joy of listening to the noises generated in the modem-dialing procedure, I’d recommend you YouTube it just for edification.

The process begins simple enough with a typical dial tone followed by dialing. Then the magic happens.

You might hear a couple of beeps then noises so diverse and bizarre English’s onomatopoeia has yet to catch up. Although I’m sure brighter wordsmiths than yours truly could conjure up better descriptions, I would describe the dial up sound like this. Imagine a man at the beach with a bird on his shoulders. The bird is attempting to squawk repeatedly with a beak full of water while the man strikes a triangle in rapid succession. Behind the fowl and human, construction is underway on a new condominium. And in an instant, a tsunami force wave envelopes them all.

Now imagine all of this cacophony digitized and auto-tuned to a key unbeknownst to even the most progressive musicians. Yeah, it's kind of like that.

And yet, while that sound is far from melifluous, for me in late 2002 it brought much anticipation.