by DanWolgemuth on December 14, 2007

It started with a pager. I was a part of a technology organization and we were the “lucky few” that received the device. While it did its job for my professional commitment, it also provided a wonderful platform for connection to my family. We developed a family-specific, numerically-driven vernacular that we continue to exploit to this day.

With the surge in text messaging, the common language developed with my family over 10 years ago serves us more effectively than ever. Of specific note is just how we communicate the powerful three-word message of love. For over 10 years the numbers 143 have meant I Love You in the Wolgemuth household. To alleviate any ambiguity we qualify the numbers with a postscript of two more numbers. This extension shows the age of the sender, and consequently identifies who authored the message of love. So, in the mid-90’s, at the time that this approach was developed, I would script the message 14340. This meant: “I love you, as the 40-year-old husband.”

Fast forward to 2007. I still message my wife and kids. They receive a note from me and most often it includes the latest and most accurate rendition of this phrase “14352.” They know instantly who sent the note, primarily because current technology makes that clear, but they also get the familiar numeric language of love. Yes, somewhere shooting across the country, “my husband,” “my dad,” “my father-in-law” loves me.

From time to time, I receive the message in reverse. 14351 connects Mary’s message of love, 14326 connects to Andrew and Chrissy, 14324 is Erik, 14323 is Kendal, and Alli is 14321. It’s a bit dated in its approach, and it certainly is unnecessary technologically, but it transcends all practical push-back. It shouts digitally.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:14 (ESV)

God’s translation of 143 came through in the flesh. Yes, God blasted His precise message of love across every heart. In the flesh and forever, “143∞” – loving and infinite.

Timeless and true. God, infinite and powerful, loves you.


P.S. Last night I received a message from Andrew. It contained three messages of love: 14326 (Andrew), 14326 (Chrissy), and 14300 (Malia). On December 12 we welcomed our first grandchild. Love indeed!

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