Yesterday I posted a link to an article about God always giving good things entitled Does God give and take away? Last night an old acquaintance messaged me and thanked me for it. She said she had just been in the hospital trying to comfort her friend who lost her baby. She said she didn’t know what to say, but after she read the article things were a little more clear, and she forwarded the link to her grieving friend.
Over a year ago when I was about to lead a team to go to India for two months to write the stories of the street kids and workers who are rescuing them, I posted on Facebook my wanted ad:
“Need a guy who loves missions and video to come with a team of four girls to India for two months.”
Soon after that an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, responded and said it had been on his heart lately to go to India. He ended up going with us, and I couldn’t have imagined the trip without him.
That same trip with paid for mostly by donations of people via Facebook. As were the subsequent donations that helped pay for the medical bills of a sweet boy named Nikhil who has a blood disease, and help in the sponsorship of several orphans.
Facebook can be a meaningless forum to feed our need for gossip or compare our lives with others and give us another reason to be unhappy, or it can be more.
I’ve wasted plenty of time on Facebook. I’ve been annoyed at the changes made, which is sort of ridiculous because things can never remain the same and if they did Mark Zucherburg would have just been another nerd and I wouldn’t even be writing this.
I am so quick to think the world owes me something that didn’t even exist a few years ago.
But I’d rather live like everything is a gift. Because it is.
I am convicted that this isn’t about me. This is about people coming together and encouraging each other, letting each other know they are not alone. This is about banding together to touch the world. This is about the truth of the gospel setting people free.
Love it or hate it, (or both) Facebook is currently one of the strongest mediums of communication.
There has been plenty of articles written on the physiological implications of social networking, the addictive nature pleading us to unplug and meet people face to face again. While I find this stuff true and fascinating, and the hippy in me wants to divorce Facebook and chuck my Iphone into a river dramatically as I ride a wild horse to my cabin in the wilderness to spend my days reading Thoreau and writing poetry as I eat my rabbit stew, I simply cannot. (Maybe there will be a time and place for that but it isn’t now. Well, maybe minus the killing of rabbits.)
I want to stop thinking about the way things were, and be in awe of the power of the internet, of globalization, of instant communication, of the amazing world we live in now.
These are not bad inventions any more than the car or phone were bad inventions.
I want to be in awe of the fact that with the push of a button I am speaking to an audience of 1074.
(Note: I never set out to have over 1,000 friends, in fact, sometimes it bothers me because I am actually very introverted and keep a close group of about 5 friends. I guess I have just met a lot of people over the years that come and go, but with Facebook they stick. I used to be selective with friend requests, but now I just have the mentality I am a writer trying to build an audience so why not?)
Numbers don’t matter. You have a chance to give the world your voice, to share what matters, to share the truth you have inside of you. To love.
This is so much better than making sure the world know your opinion is better than everyone elses, or spreading your pessimism like a rash.
Social networking is powerful because people coming together is powerful. We all have different backgrounds and views, so for unity to happen we must do this in humility and love.
I have developed relationships through Facebook, with people I knew in the past, and people I haven’t even met yet in “real life.” People who live in Africa and down the road; writers, moms, rednecks, singers, preachers and pole dancers.
I have met people who are living in bondage because they believe certain things about themselves and about who God is.
I am hoping I can continue to peel back the lies lay by layer and display through this amazing medium that God is love.
If nothing else, that’s a reason to stay signed in and keep posting.