Friday, November 7, 2014

Tales of A Texting Virgin

Two measly years ago, these typing fingers were pure. 

My wife would say, “You should learn to text?”

I would hold up my fingers. “These are texting virgins.”

Someone would text me. I’d read the message then ignore the sender. You’re not going to sucker me into sullying these digits.

Oh, such pride! I would fight the advance of the Evil Empire—technology.


Of course! Where’s my “Long live King Ludd!” sweatshirt?

My wife, who had one already, would say, “You’d love a smart phone.”

I would hold up my smart-enough-for-me cellphone. “All I need to do is make calls. I don’t need anything more complicated than that. By the way, could you look up the Cowboys-Giants score for me?”

A little over a year ago, a friend from my high school years kept texting me information about our upcoming reunion. She even expected answers to her questions. And I’d ignore her.

She texted more.

I’d think, “Just call me!”

She texted again.

In annoyance, I did the unthinkable. I punched out my answer and hit SEND.

She texted, “Thanks!”

Yea, thanks a lot. You just made me profane my once-text-free fingers.

For the next few months, I felt annoyed every time I got a text. I still refused to respond unless forced.

Then something happened.

Someone would text me. I’d pound out an answer within moments. Cue the calypso music and join me in singing a round of Don't Worry, Be Happy!

I even initiated text conversations. Gone was the irritation, the gnashing of teeth, and the mental expletives.

So what changed?

Our billing!

We added unlimited texting to our cellphone package.

I wasn’t fighting technology. I was simply cheap.

T. Neal Tarver has served churches in Texas and Wisconsin. He, his wife Ellen, and son Daniel lived and worked for three years as missionaries in the Russian Far East. Tom speaks enough Russian to both converse and confuse.

In 2011, Tom was selected as a semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis contest. He’s also been a two-time winner of MBT’s “Make Every Word Count Flash Fiction” contest. He has written articles for the local newspaper and an international mission magazine. His debut novel, Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes, is available through WestBow Press, Amazon, BARNES & NOBLE, and other retail outlets.
He currently serves as an associate pastor and writes from his home in Wimberley, Texas. He also writes about Christian community at A Curious Band of Others (

Tom has spoken in churches across America, and in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.