Shaina Huleatt 1992 –
During her Bruderhof childhood, Shaina says she had “almost no screen time, besides a few movies a year and a few hours here and there watching my father photoshop my mother’s paintings to create greeting cards,” and only learned to use a computer when she was sixteen. After studying law in London and Georgetown, she now works as a lawyer in Woodcrest.
During my years in London I was fortunate to live in a Bruderhof house in the city with about a dozen other students. I didn’t do social media. None of us in the house did. I didn’t even have a smartphone, and I usually turned my dumbphone off as soon as I got back from classes.
It could be inconvenient: classmates had to email or call me, when they would have preferred using Facebook messaging. Without Google Maps on my phone, I had to plan ahead – or get lost. But what you sacrifice in terms of convenience can often be regained in real time. Time for games, reading, cooking – we learned to make curry from Indian friends – and singing.
Sometimes we’d take a guitar to the park; a few times we even sang on the Underground. People looked up from their phones, surprised. Children smiled. A Scrooge or two would move to another car, but most people seemed to enjoy it. Some even joined in.
I now spend most of my working hours in front of a computer. All the more, I value any time I can get away from screens.
Seeing both the greatness of nature and the delicacy of flowers, we came to understand how human beings have their place in God’s great plan of creation. God’s majesty is so great and unapproachable, and so endlessly kind; his power is to be felt in everything and through everything – even through us if we put ourselves at his disposal.