Thursday, October 6, 2011
Not Far From the Kingdom of God: UPDATED
Thomas Peters' cartoon of Steve Jobs at the Pearly Gates, going viral on Twitter today, really sums up my feelings today about Steve Jobs--that he in reality is not far from the Kingdom of God. ( For some reason the "TwitPic" link is not working well, or at least it doesn't look like very good resolution as I write this in draft form--you can visit this link to see this simple but practically perfect cartoon in much better resolution.)
I am uber-geeky about the death of Steve Jobs, and basically warrant some of the criticism people are having of the outsize reactions to Jobs' death. Last night, I subscribed to the Twitter hashtag #apple so I could show our family all the tweets streaming in for Jobs. I laughed loudly when a Facebook friend, fond of putting up photos of the wrong celebrity when one dies (Liam Neeson instead of Leslie Nielson, for example), put a photo of Bill Gates up with the caption, "Steve Jobs, you will be missed."
And this morning, I actually, truly, tweeted and put on Facebook, "At Mass this am, saw 2 others wearing jeans & black, but I was too shy to ask if they were, like me, geeky & doing it for Steve Jobs."
From what I can discover, Steve Jobs professed no faith, but he is one of several famous people I consider "not far from the Kingdom of God" because of their desire for truth, beauty, and goodness. Another example is Clint Eastwood--he says he does not believe in God, but how can a person make the movies "Gran Torino" or "Invictus" without some kind of yearning and desire for the Good?
Steve Jobs or Clint Eastwood remind me of the Calormen soldier Emeth in C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle, last book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. For those who have not read it, Emeth arrives in Aslan's country to Aslan's welcome, but Emeth protests that he has always followed and sought Tash, the demonic "god" of the Calormens. How could Aslan accept him as a son? Aslan replies, "Beloved, .. unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek."
There are tons of Web reflections and tributes to Steve Jobs today. I especially enjoyed Jeff Geerling's tribute: "Steve", in which Geerling reminds us of Jobs' opposition to porn on the App store, and many of his other terrific qualities. His love of beauty and a clean design for Apple products, even the parts customers would not generally see, shows there was something in him that sought and delighted in goodness. The Anchoress also had a great reflection and roundup of various reactions around the Web. And Marc Cardaronella, a local friend we know in real life (I featured his wife Shannon as a "Meet a Reader" early this year), shares Steve Jobs "life lessons for Catholic leaders."
A friend on Facebook responded to my "wearing jeans and black at Mass" status that today's Gospel, from Luke 11, was great, and in re-reading it, I thought about Jobs and his relentless searching and knocking, and how the Lord promises that the door is always opened. May it be so, and may Jobs' soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace:
‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’
UPDATE: I don't know how I missed several points in my original post. One, that I (and our whole family) has multiple, multiple Apple products. I am not going to even count them because I fear it would be embarrassing. And I have never gotten rid of one.
For instance, when a nephew told me Apple offers a 10 percent discount at the Apple store if you bring in an old iPod or other device, I brought the first iPod (now nonworking even after my cardboard fixes) my husband got me years ago, to an Apple store in the plans of getting a discount, and I accidentally on purpose forgot to turn it in.
That reminds me that it is my husband who loves and points out to me all the new Apple products and how beautiful they are. So I am in gratitude to him for getting us started on the Apple path, because Apple products have saved me so much time and angst from my Windows days, I can't even begin to add them up.
Finally, how did I neglect, when I was retweeting the fact profusely, about the fact that Steve Jobs was adopted, and what his unplanned conception might have meant in the post-Roe world? MacBeth has a tear-inducing reflection about that here. Dare you to read it without tearing up.