Oh Facebook…How I love thee, let me count the ways! Where else, WHERE ELSE, I say, can you gather a group of past and present acquaintances so diverse that it’s rivaled only by your own funeral? Where else can you find your entire Kindergarten class in one place 25 years later, and at 1am no less (because that’s the only time you have now that your OWN Kindergarteners aren’t vying for your attention)? How else could you possibly wait around the clock…smiling, hair perfect, laughing, showing off your beautiful children…for your ex’s to stumble across you and melt in regret at losing the best thing that ever happened to them? Where else can you muster up the gumption to finally release that confrontational load you’ve always needed to get off your chest…FACEbook to FACEbook? Where else, I ask, WHERE ELSE? It’s like an interactive yearbook, but not just for school, for your entire LIFE!!! Ahhh, yes. It is such a grand technological world we live in! This Christmas season I have enjoyed reuniting with several old friends! Every time that happens, I feel as if a small part of the 5 million piece jigsaw puzzle that is me is locked into place…it’s so cool to step back and see the whole picture of my life until now forming before my eyes. Memories that I had forgotten come flooding back. Some good, some bad, but it’s all part of who I am. How did people survive in a pre-facebook world, so disconnected on a big planet? Facebook has made the world feel smaller. And I have to admit, I like it.
On a more serious note, however…so many of the simple things we enjoy here every day are things that others will never experience for one day in their entire lives. As I sift through my photos trying to dredge up my favorites for a “best of the best” post on New Year’s Eve, I see faces that take me back a few months to the reality of the Romanian Gypsies. I wonder how they’re doing right now…the winter climate is very similar to my own here in the Midwest, but their homes are made of riff-raff, thin rugs, broken windows, and fabric doors. Winter is very hard for them and some don’t survive the harsh conditions. I wish connecting with them was as easy as typing their name in a search bar and clicking “Go.” I wish bringing them home with me was as easy as taking them by the hand, walking through an airport and boarding a plane. My thoughts stray…and glide across land and sea, landing on a bumpy, teeth-jarring, pot-holed dirt road outside Oradea…all too often. And when my thoughts meander, I pray. Not because it’s all I can do, but because there is a network far superior and oh-so-very-much more connected than Facebook or Myspace. God’s love reaches to every corner of the earth and He knows not only the number of hairs on their heads but the needs of their souls as well. My God does amazing and wonderful things. In a country where it’s easy to feel as if we don’t NEED any help to survive day-to-day, it’s healthy to experience first hand how helpless humanity really is…we really have NO control over how others treat us or what we can accomplish in our own lives. We Americans have been blessed in excess…and we’ve somehow convinced ourselves that we deserve it. My prayer for this coming year is not for equality or world peace or the end of hunger (although those things are all worthy causes), but simply for an expanded God-awareness in my own life that is evident and notable. For the more aware we become of God, the more we contribute to the proper balance of EVERYTHING.