Steve Jobs and My Daughter

Due to my admittedly Amish tendencies when it comes to technology, I was surprised at the wave of sadness that washed over me when I heard of Steve Jobs’ death. The kind of sadness I would feel if someone I knew personally died.

I don’t love Apple, I don’t love iPods, I definitely don’t love iPhones. I honestly don’t know, nor really care about what technology he advanced. I can appreciate his brilliance, his charisma, his aesthetic. He really was the best in his field. I can respect that.

But that’s not what made me sad. Maybe it was partly that he had kids and now some kids out there in the world are without a loving father. Maybe it was partly because he has been fighting cancer for a while and, while he fought the good fight, he was finally called home. Maybe it was a bit jarring the message that it truly doesn’t matter how much money you have or how at-the-top-of-your-game you are — when it’s your time, it’s your time.

What made me sad was that Olivia and I, for months now, have been praying for Steve Jobs. Really, we have been. Our nightly ritual is to pray right before she goes to sleep. We go through our litany of people we pray for. We pray for Mommy, Daddy, Baby Lina, Grandma, Grandpa, Grandpa James, Grandma Bobbie, Ruben, Jen, Christine, and Steve Jobs. I’m not kidding. We have prayed for him by name every single night for months and months. Of course we pray for other family and friends, too, but these are the constants.

While I may avoid technology like the plague, Olivia is just like her daddy. She loves it. Whenever my mom and dad come to visit she gets giddy with the anticipation of playing with their iPhone and iPad. She can work those things like a pro. She can do more on them than I can. She loves Apple. So after a while she started listing the usual suspects during prayer but then also started praying for “iPad” — her dear, dear friend. So I redirected and we prayed for Steve Jobs who made the iPad.

Other than these few seconds a day I spent praying for Steve Jobs, I never thought of him. I had forgotten that he was sick. So sick that he retired a while back. I forgot that he had a family that was coping with their father/husband who was sick. I forgot that he had real challenges and real struggles.

Despite that, my little girl felt a calling to pray for him. And we did. Every night without fail. Without even knowing it, we prayed for someone who desperately needed prayers.

I think I was affected so much when I heard of his death because I know how powerful prayers are. And while he has greatly impacted technology, I know that Olivia’s prayers impacted him because that’s what prayers do. Maybe her prayers gave him just a little more energy to play with his kids. Maybe her prayers gave him just a little more humor. Maybe her prayers gave him just a little more time. This little girl and this tech tycoon have been connected through prayer. I think that is pretty beautiful.

Good call, Olivia.