Monday, February 1, 2010

A Letter to the Church of Facebook

This might get a bit deep, so I thought I'd put up pretty pictures I took at the Academy of Science last week.  Enjoy the light as we ponder.
All of this drama in our life has me thinking.
You realize who is really interested in your life when one of your loved ones is hurting.
And I don't mean that in any accusatory way, since I know that I fail to send a card, offer a meal, or make a call even if I'm deep in prayer for a person.  But I ask you...if we DON'T do these things....then who will?
My hubby LOVES to give me a hard time about my time on Facebook, but then he saw all of the responses we received during this time of praying for Merrick. 
You know who you are.
And though my thank you notes are not nearly finished.....
You have to know how grateful we are, for the line you emailed, the prayers you sent, the food you cooked, the presents you blessed our kids with, and for the visits.....and so much more.
A dear friend of mine once said that her neighbor converted to a certain church because the members of that church had brought her soup when she was sick.
It was simple....they had invested in her life, and she saw truth in their religion. 
Love in action.
The thing is, I'm not that impressionable.  Our faith in God will stand
whether or not we receive from others. 
BUT it is quite a testimony to the power of this medium,
that the majority of this concern, prayer and care came from Facebook friends. 
The thing about relationships is that they take an investment.
I chose to invest in our blog as a way to document our journey, as well as to update as many people as possible.  After the first visit to a specialist it became impossible to call more than a few close friends and my family each day to report new developments......so if I just updated the blog-hooked it to FB, then everyone received the info simulatneously, or as they were interested. 
I don't have to explain this information highway phenom to you.
The thing is.....only a handful of members from our actual church follow this blog.   So at the risk of preaching to the choir here.....
I have to state that majority of the congregation had no idea what was going on until after we were home from surgery.
In fact, many of the members actually thought we had just left the church. 
That makes me so sad to think that they may have just given up on us. 
Just when we may have needed them most.  We were absent, but in definite need of prayer. 
There was one exception.....our children's ministry director happened to call about a funeral while we were checking out of the hospital.  He was completely oblivious to our situation, but I assured him that all was well now and we just needed to wait out the recovery period. 
Later the next week he showed up with a plate of homemade brownies, two dozen DVDs, and a Get Well card for Merrick.  I was very touched by the thoughtfulness.
And I hope this doesn't come across as a scathing critique of our church.
I hold no ill feelings for any group or individual person.
But as my husband likes to say...there is just SO much that is off in the American church nowadays.
I just think we need the reminder to be as in tune with our community as we can be.
So I'm going to challenge you to step outside your techie world.
Put down the iPhone, stop your texting, and go by someone's house today, or actually DIAL the phone and find out what is going on in their life today.
I refuse to be so out of touch again.

Now my disclaimer is this......I KNOW you have been in the same situation as I have.  And if you are feeling like a martyr right now, then you need to realize that you are AS responsible for making a move as anyone else.....no one can read your mind.  Reach out, and maybe it will take more than once.
But I promise you that God will send you an opportunity for someone to be there for you...and for you to be there for someone else.
For the greatest command is for us to Love one Another.
So let us live by that golden rule....
and Treat others as we would like to be treated.
Amen?
Amen.

4 comments:

The Ballard Family said...

~AMEN!

Stef said...

oh, I loved this, Nikki!! You've reminded me that there is some good with facebook :)
I remember feeling this way when Ethan and Kara had their surgeries. It was wonderful just knowing SO many were praying.

Joan said...

Finally read your post. :)
Yes, reach out ... even when it's uncomfortable. I invited someone from church for a playdate at our house. Me reaching out is SO not me. But I did it, and she was SO grateful. Even in the awkward moments of silence, it was a testimony to her that someone cared. :)

patricia said...

Amen Sister ! I only wish I were closer to have been there for you.
Funny becuase I joined Sanctuary becuase I felt God pulling the "community" together there & from there reaching out into HIS larger community. Something I had never seen in action before. The basis of the word preached & revealed indidiually & reiderations in the past year have echoed such cries& cares From the Lord about community. Family & friends are not only in need but those quiet ones who do not disturb and make a rucas so as not to put anyone out but just disappear to perhaps a sons surgery. We are learning that those are the one God points us to. Go to that community because He wants us to. And we are trying to listen.
Now it is not an easy life. another "task" for me but a heartfelt one God is working on in just the immediate people he has surrounded me with. But as I grow in HIM I feel HIM pulling me towards everyone else in the larger community.
Glad to hear your heart reveal, see and appreciate that very same revelation we all take for granted until it's not there.