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It can be awfully hard you were wrong, especially when you jumped to a conclusion and held firm against a loud outcry.  I think that’s why things get heated so quickly on social media.

Gather facts?  Pfft.

It is much more important to post first and loudly stake your claim.  “This is my take on this situation and everyone else is an idiot!”

Name calling stirs up emotion and pretty soon we are demanding everyone take sides.  It’s no wonder that people find it so difficult to change their stance when facts emerge.

It’s enough to make me wonder if “slow” was a 2018 thing that we won’t see anymore.  Slow food was home cooked and often took a full day to simmer.  Slow crafting meant knitting or quilting a gift by hand vs employing a machine.

Maybe those of us who gather together at PrayPower can start a slow news or slow opinion trend.  Facts must be gathered.  It may take days if not longer.  While we wait, we can cook and knit and pray.  We can break the chain that holds us fast to pandering to Facebook for likes and free ourselves from seeking retweets.

Slow.  Prayerful.  Considered.

–SueBE

 

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She was voted “Best Smile;” I was voted “Most Intelligent.” We remained close after grade school, despite going to different high schools, because she worked in a department store I frequented. Whenever we saw each other, we’d chat as if no time at all had passed since graduation.

Reconnecting on Facebook was a shock. I expected my old friend; instead I saw awful caricatures of President Obama and hateful speech. When did “Best Smile” become…this? I stayed friends but shut off her posts, checking in every once in a while to see if anything had improved. It hadn’t. Things eventually came to a head, and I had to unfriend her altogether.

This kind of division is becoming prevalent. Poetry, as always, becomes my voice.

You hear: up is down.
I hear: black is white.
Bedrock becomes liquid
and the oceans walkable.
When we cannot agree
on the color of the sky,
things have surely come apart.
We fire our pistols into the air,
heedless of the hail of bullets,
which, after all, have no
place to land but on our heads.
When the mad tea party ends,
we walking wounded
will have to speak, but how?
The alphabet is in ruins;
we are left with lines
in the dirt, crude gestures.
Only a devil could sow such discord.
Only God will loosen our lips.

Last week, Lori wrote about Cecil, the famous Zimbabwean lion killed by an American dentist/big game hunter. I have to admit, when I saw the first post, I thought it was a hoax. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that this man would do this and photograph it.  I still don’t get it, but I sure didn’t predict all of the repercussions.

When a friend posted about Cecil, someone commented on her post. How could she possibly care about this lion and not about all the poor aborted babies?  What kind of a monster is she?

Still trying to sort things out, she posted about how strange it was that people thought you could care about only one issue at a time. Why couldn’t she care about trophy hunting and something else?  Someone commented on that post, slamming her for comparing trophy hunting to the PTSD suffered by Black Americans who live as a hated minority. Round and round it went.

What do you say when emotions run so high?

As an introvert, I know that coming up with the words myself is out of the question. Put me on the spot, make me feel like a target and, at best, I’m going to freeze. At worst, I’m going to say something snippy or mean just to get whoever it is to back away and leave me be.

The best that I can at times like this is take a deep breath and let God speak.  Often it takes more than a deep breath to find that Christ-filled center. I know people who seem to find it at a moment’s notice but I am not one of those people.  For me, it takes time.  It often takes a bit of quiet and perhaps a bit of music like this anthem.  Because truly, it is the best that I can hope for when feelings run high or at any other time.  God Be In My Head.

–SueBE

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Aesop

Last weekend, I was on the computer when a friend posted on Facebook. A family member’s paid companion had taken off leaving that person without the help he needs and the house a disaster. My friend was busy cleaning and hoped for a cheery word to keep her going.

I sent up a prayer and responded, asking if she needed help.

“You don’t need to do that” came her answer.

It only took me a few minutes to get a water bottle and put on my shoes. Less than ten minutes later, I walked up her driveway. She’d done the worst of the cleaning but I helped put away dishes and we sorted art supplies. And she talked. We laughed and swapped horror stories and laughed some more.

When someone asks for prayers, how often do you do more than pray? I’m not belittling prayer. But how often is that all that we do? This is especially disturbing when you remember what Christ said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

He didn’t say, sit there and pray. No, he told us to do. And he didn’t give us an easy out. “You don’t have to do anything if they don’t ask for help.” Or even “Offer help and if they say no you can get on with whatever.”

No.

Whatever you do.

And he said that because we bless people not only through our prayers but through our actions. Actions are, in many ways, prayers made concrete.

So the next time you offer to pray for someone, think about what else you can do. Make your prayers tangible even if in only a small way.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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