A friend of mine recently dropped her iPhone on her tiled kitchen floor and watched in horror as her screen shattered into a spiderweb of cracks.
This would ruin the day of most of us smartphone-dependent first world people.
But for my friend, this happened on one of the worst days of her life. It was a day that she was given some truly devastating news. Her mind and heart was reeling from the blow. And now this hopelessly broken down iPhone sealed the deal of it being a day from hell.
Being the good friend that I am, I immediately volunteered my husband's services in repairing her screen. Not that he had ever opened up that particular model. But, he had gotten all up in an older version of mine a few years prior (twice) when I dropped mine (more than twice) and needed some "internal repairs."
I assured her that he would be delighted to fix her phone. In fact, he was dying to do it. Okay...that may be a bit of a stretch, but I pretty much volunteered him on the spot with the assumption he was good to go.
So, my friend ordered the replacement screen and digitizer from Amazon. But then she went out of town. And she stayed out of town. And finally, when she came back, the part was waiting for her.
I took it home with her jacked up iPhone and waved them at my hubby. He blanched and said, "she has a 4s? I haven't worked on one of those before."
But, the amazing guy he is, he got to work -- only to discover that Apple had changed out the type of screw they use on the phone from the 3Gs. Thus, the special "iphone screwdriver" we had no longer fit. So, I had to tell my friend that her beloved iPhone would have to wait in ICU while we ordered the new screwdriver. I even gave her our extra "low-tech" cell phone so that she could have a phone in the interim. Fortunately, we have Amazon Prime so it would only take two days.
It took two days.
She came over to wait while he did his handiwork. My husband opened up that package, sat down with the iPhone and replacement screen and took it all apart (which took a reaaalllly long time since it was the first time he had done it) and...discovered that my friend had accidentally ordered the replacement screen for the iPhone 4.
My friend was agitated. She was missing calls and texts left and right. The personal crisis that was happening in her life had blown up even further. She felt out of touch and dare I say, naked without her smartphone.
There was crazy talk about her breaking her contract and going out and buying a new phone. I talked her down and stealthily ordered the correct part (after verifying it with my husband). I selected the expedited shipping for $3.99.
I may have also mentioned something about God using this shattered phone as an analogy of what he was doing in her life as she took back the "low tech" phone and got ready to leave to drive home.
She barely resisted slugging me in the stomach.
Two days later, the three of us were waiting in our living room with the phone still all taken apart. It was 7 p.m. and the part hadn't arrived. I contacted Amazon and expressed my frustration. They refunded the expedited fee. Then at 7:30, the part arrived.
My friend and I sipped coffee while my hero of a hubby worked on putting in the new part -- painstakingly watching the "how to" video on You Tube while doing so. Hours later, he put it all back together, powered it up, and ....
...it didn't work. The screen was a faint white, but there were no square apps or any sort of button to push to make a call, play music, etc.
It was a fail.
My poor friend nearly lost her mind. She was convinced that she needed to go out and buy a $500 new phone. Before she could do it, I hopped on Amazon and bought another replacement part, got the expedited shipping (again) and charged it on her card before she could do something rash.
I might have made another one of those "God is using this phone to show you something" comments. I narrowly avoided her fist this time.
Two days later, once again it was coffee time. We talked about her crisis and what God seemed to be doing and could possibly be doing through it. It was a good chat. It was 7:30 and we were waiting for the UPS truck to come.
But it didn't.
Amazon tried to track it down. After all, delivery was promised for that evening by 8 p.m. -- which came and went. They were very sorry to inform us that the delivery would not be made until the following day and they would be refunding the $3.99 expedited shipping fee.
At this point, we had to laugh. I mean, what else can you do?
I may have chanced that comment about "all things working together for good" in her general direction. I may have done that.
So, it was after 8 p.m. and there was no part. So, what did we do? We listened to worship music. And we sang. I taught her how to listen for the harmony part and then sing it. I told her she should join our church's worship team.
We both got chills listening to "You Are For Me" by Kari Jobe.
I burned her a CD of a few songs that she requested.
And then she left full of encouragement and God's idea of who she is.
She texted me the next morning (from her iPad...so don't feel too sorry for her) that she had a wonderful night of sleep -- the first in a long time.
I told her it was because her heart and mind were full of God's spirit and she agreed.
Today when I got home at 4 p.m., guess what was waiting at the front door? And it wasn't even 8 p.m. My friend asked if she could come hang out at our house. And when she arrived, I had an awesome surprise.
We talked, she perused her iPad. We had dinner. My husband worked on her phone.
And 15 minutes ago, I walked outside where she was talking to a friend on my iPhone (I can't even imagine being without my iPhone for 2+ weeks...shudder!), and I gave her the fixed smartphone device of her heart.
Her smile was huge.
She barely said goodbye, hung up my phone and thrust it at me, taking her "baby" back into her hands to call her friend on it.
And after all of that work, apparently the speakerphone feature is not working right. At this point, I'm not sure my friend cares so much. It's not exactly the way it was before. But it's pretty close. And she's grateful that my hubby was so amazing to do the repair and it cost a fraction of the cost of a new phone. It will get her through until February when her contract is up.
And here's where I go all metaphorical on this story...
I'm so glad that with God, "pretty close" is not as good as it gets. With God as our life technician, he takes our shattered, broken existence and he restores it. It's not the same as before.
He works everything out for our good. Cracks and shards and all.
In fact, as I just typed that last line, she used her iPhone 4s to read Sarah Young's, Jesus Calling for today and here's what part of it said.