Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Miracle of the Ipad - or Not?

Let me just start by using this picture to make it clear that my kids' ipad has a very dirty screen. This is not part of the story, I'm just explaining why, on all the rest of the photos, you have to ignore all the fingerprints that show up on the ipad.

My brother Caleb, who bought the kids the ipad last Christmas, has wondered several times how long the ipad would last under the abuse of five little kids.

Can you see that through the fingerprints?

Well, mark it on your calendar Caleb - ten months.

This video clip might show the damage a little more clearly. There was a faint crack that I could feel, and it was clearly messing with the display. When it showed up like this, I could still access all of the apps, and they appeared to respond ok; I just couldn't always see what I was selecting. At least the internal computer did not appear to be damaged; just the display. Unfortunately, when the screen cracked on my Macbook Air earlier this year, and messed up in just this same way, the only way to fix it was to replace the whole screen - which I doubted was possible with the ipad, and if it was, probably cost more than buying a new one.

Some of the time, when I turned the ipad on, this was what I got instead. When this happened, I couldn't do anything with it except turn it back off.

And then, some of the time, I got this. A black screen with some slowly fading-in green lines. Again, completely un-usable this way. 

Now, I was using the ipad to provide the musical accompaniment during the seven-week Life in the Spirit Seminar that my prayer group is putting on. If the ipad didn't work at all, that would really screw up what I thought God wanted us to be doing, musically speaking. My kids would also be very sad not to be able to play Angry Birds anymore.

So I started praying for God to fix the ipad. I had recently read a book on healing prayer that talks about "soaking prayer" - which basically means lots and lots of prayer, even for hours. And it seemed to me that God wanted me to do that with the ipad. I figured it might not be a bad idea to practice on an inanimate object before praying for people that way. So I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed. Every now and then I would turn the ipad on again to see if it was fixed. It never was.

I tried not to get discouraged, and prayed some more on a later day. Again, no results.

It was really discouraging.

Since at least some of the time it was usable, even though difficult to see, I took it along with me to the next Life in the Spirit session. I got there early and plugged it in to charge while I helped set up. Plugging it in brought it out of sleep, and this is what I saw...

Pure crystal clearness. 

This time with less reflection from the flash.

Praise God, I thought.

I'd been wanting a miracle. Something I could point to as an indisputable violation of the natural laws of physics, like Peter walking on water. It didn't have to be something that other people would believe was a miracle - just something that I  would know was one.

And this was it.

This was my miracle.

Or so I thought.

Until I let the kids play with the ipad, and they came back telling me it was broken again.

Sure enough, it was making some of those lines again. It didn't seem quite as bad as before, but it was clearly not working right. And I thought I could feel the crack again, which I had not been able to find when everything was clear-looking. I didn't have time to deal with it right then, so I turned it off and stuck it on the charger and told the kids not to touch it. 

Later, on impulse, I turned it back on for a moment and it came on crystal clear again.

Still, I was upset. As I did the dishes later that day, and had time to think about what had happened, I started to fume at God. Why would you take this away from me, God? Why offer the miracle in the first place if you don't mean it? It would have been better not to have fixed it in the first place! Why does it seem like every time I get my hopes in you up, you do something to dash them back down again? I know I'm supposed to trust you, but seriously, how is this not messed up?

Eventually I felt I should stop fuming, and I tried to let it go. My husband found out it was still a sensitive issue for me when he suggested that we ask Caleb if there's a warranty on the ipad, and I snapped at him. (Sorry, love!) I figure not to let the kids play with it, until the Life in the Spirit is over next week. After that, if they break it, well, such is life.

So I'm left not knowing what to think. On the one hand, I have pictures to prove that something happened. Electronics don't just spontaneously fix themselves, you know? And, as of right now, the ipad is working just fine. Perfectly clear. But I think I can still feel a crack, and I can't make myself believe that the ipad is going to last much past the end of the seminar. Maybe the lines came back as a warning from God that the fix isn't going to last - that the miracle is just temporary, as it were. God only knows.

But at least He does.


  1. I think you are forgetting the miracle of the puppy that got ran over. We finally got it out from under the car (pretty lifeless after having a 2000lb car with only about a 4 inch clearance run over it). You prayed over that dog and it jumped up as good as new. I have never seen anything like that.

  2. You could always try taking it into an Apple Store and seeing if they'll just give you a new one. Sync it to your MacBook Air before doing that, obviously, but sometimes Apple goes above & beyond in the customer service area. Worth a try, at least.

  3. Doesn't it still count as a miracle if it is resurrected just for the conference that you need it for? I mean Lazurus was brought back to life, but he still eventually died. And those that Jesus healed, also eventually died as well. God has fixed it for the time that you needed it, and that is itself a miracle. (And I am talking to myself here as much as you. I often need reminding to see God's miracles as they happen, even when it is not what we are "looking" for.)

  4. Rosita.. yes, I think you're right. That Lazarus comparison is a good one. Thanks.

  5. For the record... Ken, I haven't forgotten about the puppy. I even thought of that incident when I was writing this post. I don't know why that doesn't seem like "enough" to me... it may be that I want a more public miracle, or it may just be that I want another one. :)

  6. So this is LATE, but I have a friend who dropped their iPad and cracked the screen. They brought it into Apple and they replaced it for free. It's definitely worth a shot.