Steve Jobs – visionary, creative genius – dead at the young age of 56.
Appropriately, I got the news that he died via a text on my iPhone.
I’m not a rabid Apple fan. I’m not a Steve Jobs junkie. But still it took my breath away when I got the news. Because here is what I am in awe of – human ingenuity, grit, determination and vision. Steve Jobs had all of that in spades. And tonight, the world feels just a little less awesome with him gone.
Since this is Respect Life Sunday, and the beginning of Respect Life month, I wanted to talk about one woman who did respect life – and her choice has made a difference in the life of virtually every person in this church.
Her name is Joanne Schiebel. In 1954, she was a young unmarried college student who discovered that she was pregnant. In the 1950s, her options were limited. She could have had an abortion – but the procedure was both dangerous and illegal. She could have gotten married, but she wasn’t ready and didn’t want to interrupt her education. Joanne opted, instead, to give birth to the baby and put it up for adoption.
And so it was that in 1955, a California couple named Paul and Clara Jobs adopted a baby boy, born out of wedlock, that they named Steven.
We know him today…as Steve Jobs.
It would not be overstating things to say that Steve Jobs is my generation’s Thomas Edison. As one observer put it, he knew what the world wanted before the world knew that it wanted it.
If you have an iPhone or an iPad or an iPod, or anything remotely resembling them, you can thank Steve Jobs.
If your world has been transformed by the ability to hear a symphony, send a letter, pay a bill, deposit a check, read a book and then buy theater tickets on something roughly the size of a credit card…you can thank Steve Jobs.
And: you can thank Joanne Schiebel.
If you want to know how much one life can matter, there is just one example.
The deacon then asks us to imagine if that life had never had happened.
Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. You did good.