I do appreciate hearing about the reasons people are celebrating and the reasons they need help. They can offer real cause for prayer.
Posted in , Oct 31, 2017
I’ve heard it said often enough that Facebook is full of superficiality. People put up photos that show them off at their best or only proclaim the good news, leaving out the struggles they’re going through.
Those people must be people I don’t know because one thing I’m grateful to see from the “friends”–many of them real friends–who post on Facebook is the honesty with which they discuss the trials they’re doing through and the prayers they need.
The other morning I got out of bed and did a quick scroll through Facebook. Sure, there was the occasional political screed and the warm wishes for a happy birthday or anniversary or the new job (opportunity for prayers of thanksgiving).
But there was also the woman who has been keeping us apprised of her husband’s recovery from heart surgery. Things had been rocky but they were looking up. Prayers still needed.
And the friend who had just gotten a scary cancer diagnosis. She was looking for advice on doctors, hospitals, treatment. But she was also glad for love and emotional support.
Another friend posted a simple sentence: “Can’t sleep.” As she lives in England I couldn’t exactly tell what time she’d written those words but it seemed like she had recorded the thought in the middle of the night. Both advice and prayers were offered.
Then I thought of the time I was in the hospital with a nasty lung infection that puzzled every expert’s attempt at diagnosis. I wasn’t even well enough to post on Facebook until I’d been there for a week. And then when I did, I’d never received such an outpouring of care, love, concern and prayers.
So here’s my (rhetorical) question: Can Facebook be a tool for spiritual growth?
I say yes. Unfriend those folks whose posts are full of empty braggadocio or who seem stuck in the same complaints about the future of the world. You don’t need them. Or maybe you do. I don’t.
But I do appreciate hearing about the reasons people are celebrating and the reasons they need help. They can offer real cause for prayer.
Jesus said that wherever two or more are gathered in His name, He is there with them. I’ve seen how true that is again and again. Even on Facebook.
"If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines to my hospital. --Rob C., Director of Pastoral Care.