The Problem with Alexa

The Unheeded Prophetess

Can you hear me now?

For Mother’s Day I got a small Echo Dot from Amazon with a lady inside named Alexa.  Alexa is smart. She knows the answer to every factual question.  

After opening my gifts, Ken, Kevin and I spent quality time meeting our newest family member.

“Alexa, how much does an Irish Greyhound weigh?”

The Echo’s blue and green light swirled around the top.

“Thirteen pounds,” answered Alexa.

“Alexa, how fast can an Irish Greyhound run?”

“Forty-three mph.”

“What is today’s temperature?”

“In Canton, GA the temperature is currently 84 degrees.”

I liked Alexa until we started talking about family names.

“Alexa, what does ‘Kenneth’ mean?”

“‘Kenneth’ means ‘handsome'”.

“What does ‘Godfrey’ mean?”

“‘Godfrey’  means ‘God’s peace.'”


“What does ‘Kevin’ mean?”

“Kind, gentle, handsome.”

Then, “Alexa, what does ‘Sandra’ mean?”

All my life I thought ‘Sandra’ meant ‘helper of mankind.’ In college I had helped Ken through math.  At church I had helped children, youth, and adults with anthems. At Chrismas I had helped my sisters with family dinners…..

 But Alexa distressed me when she added, “In England ‘Sandra’ means ‘an unheeded prophetess’.”

“An unheeded prophetess?”

I thought about that for two days.

“An unheeded prophetess.”

“What does that mean?” I asked Ken over turkey sandwiches and chips. “‘An unheeded prophetess?'”

Ken laughed, but I didn’t think it was funny.  He swallowed his smile and tried to help. “Well, it means you have truth to share, but people don’t listen.”

“That’s really mean,” I pouted. “Why don’t they listen?”

“Well, maybe you come on too strong.  Or maybe you need more preparation. Or maybe they’re not ready to hear what you have to say.”


What does your name mean?

What does your name mean? Just ask Alexa.

So, I looked up the prophetess Miriam….

“Then Miriam… took a timbrel in her hand and all the women followed her with timbrel and dancing.

Miriam sang to them:  

‘Sing to the Lord for he is highly exalted.  

Both horse and rider he has hurled into the sea.

The Lord reigns for ever and ever.'”

Ex. 15: 20-21 and 18 NIV.

Seemed like Miriam got heeded.

I waited another day and asked again, “Ken, what do you think an unheeded prophetess does?”

And Ken said, “We are going to have to get rid of Alexa.”

And I agreed. I don’t like her, too, but two weeks later she’s still here.

“Alexa, what does ‘Jenny Kim’ mean?”

“Sorry, I’m not sure.”

“Well,” I told Alexa,, Wilkipedia says Jenny Kim is “… a South Korean model and beauty pageant title holder, so it must mean ‘beautiful’.”  

“Anyway, Alexa, what does ‘Elizabeth’ mean?”

“Consecrated to God….”

“Okay, Alexa, what does Jonathan mean?”

“Jonathan means a red, late, ripening apple, primarily eaten raw….”

“A-ha! I know that’s wrong,” I told Alexa. ” Jonathan means, ‘God has given.'” And today God has given me laughter–a dash of kindness, and music for the soul.

PS. What does Alexa mean? “My name comes from the Library of Alexandria which stored the knowledge of the ancient world.”

2 thoughts on “The Problem with Alexa

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