Face to Face 

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For a few days last week the Cathedral was the scene of much staff frustration when our ability to communicate electronically came to a standstill.

The staff corridor was the scene of much exasperation, gnashing of teeth and frantic tapping of keyboards. Computers were re-booted, stared at with incredulity and I understand, in one case even prayed over! 

There was a problem with the wires along which our very important messages are sent and received. 

We realised that we could do nothing until the experts had dealt with it. I found myself returning to time honoured and tested ways of communicating. I picked up the telephone and spoke to people, wrote a note or a letter and even found myself walking down the corridor to speak to a colleague face to face! 

Those few days of loss in electronic communication, frustrating and very inconvenient as they were, made me realise how relentless and overwhelming high-speed communication is. It was a refreshing change to be forced to talk face to face with others. We were given the gift of time to spend by communicating differently. 

The situation reminded me that we must take time to pray, as was the experience of Moses, when he took time to enter the ‘tent of meeting’. 

Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11). 

Moses spent time with God, time to speak and time to listen. Surely time well spent. 

The emails are now reconnected and much keyboard tapping and high-speed communication is happening. I can’t help thinking that it may be worthwhile, every now and then, to get someone to stand on the wire for a couple of days! 

Responses please to: 

keith.farrow@sheffield-cathedral.org.uk , alternatively give me a call or we can meet face to face over a coffee in the 1554 Coffee Shop. 

Canon Keith Farrow
Canon Missioner