Seeing What is in Plain Sight

One week ago today, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, died. In the weeks before he died and following the death, we heard many descriptions of his talents and strengths. David Carr wrote in the New York Times that Jobs “did not so much see around corners; he saw things in plain sight that others did not.”

He saw what others did not see. A comment in a recent America Magazine had a simple thought experiment aimed at addressing the oft-heard complaint that youn gpeople “want what the church has to offer, but they cannot find it in that church.” The comment suggested we consider:

Imagine a Bishop Steve Jobs. What would his diocese – the Diocese of Appleton, perhaps – look like? How would entrenched interests react to his challenge? What is out there in plain sight that he would see and point out to fellow church leaders? How would he change not the message, not the content, not the words, but the delivery system?

The piece concluded with the observation that the human side of the church could use the energy of a new vision. With recent surveys showing that the approximately one-third of those who were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic- meaning that about 10% of all Americans are former Catholics – it is hard to argue with the conclusion.

Perhaps it is worth engaging in thought experiment.