One of social media’s greatest joys is meeting people we’d never encounter otherwise who enrich our lives. Someone made a joke the other day about how Facebook is for rediscovering people from your past you can’t stand while Twitter is for discovering new people you adore. A bit of a broad generalization, but nonetheless one containing a grain of truth.
The process of meeting someone previously unknown on Twitter, through someone you already follow re-tweeting something by them or through some other form of mention, is a wonderful thing. At its best it’s a joyous romp through the land of old friends newly made; a shared delight of discovering wonderful people who in turn discover you and are kind enough to believe you’re wonderful as well. Or at the least, pleasant online company.
Cyberspace makes for unique bonds. There are those critics who say it’s an artificial environment, one where people are seldom as their words portray. I beg to differ. Many, many people have the gift of perception, able to sniff out those who attempt to paint a false self-portrait. Also, ofttimes online people see past surface differences that had their first encounter been in person would have immediately throw up barricades precluding any opportunity to connect. One of my most beloved friends is a liberal Deadhead to the core. We disagree on so many things. Were we to have first met in person, most likely we both would have said “two different tribes here” and been on our separate ways. Instead, we’re cherished, inseparable members of each other’s lives. Even though she is an incorrigible hippie.
I encountered such a person the other day. No idea if she’s an incorrigible hippie — well, as far as being a hippie, she’s not; jury’s still out on the incorrigible aspect — but that’s beside the point. She writes beautifully, honestly, her dry and sardonic wit never failing to do its job. It’s readily apparent we’re from two different tribes, without a whole lot in common. Nevertheless, her work is a pleasure to read; helps get me out of the comfort zone. Cause to think, as well as be amused.
Yesterday, her Twitter stream suddenly stopped being amusing:
The beautiful little girl at work told me last night she was dressed up for a tea party. I was just told she went home & shot herself dead.
So what do you say?
So what do you say?
When worlds are disconnected, when disparate tribes come together, there is only one thing you can do or say.
Namely, trust in the Truth, in the power of Christ crucified and risen to cut across all barriers of societal strata and touch those who have little to nothing in common with the common bond of love and healing.
Jesus, please comfort Sunny and hold her in Your arms. Please wipe away her tears with Your nail-scarred hands and let her know that the demons which beset her in her brief time on this earth are now forever banished. She will never again be tormented or know despair. Now, even as she was loved here yet could not know love, let her know she is loved and can receive love.
Her loss is mourned. Yet even as she is mourned, there will in time be a smile underneath the tears of those who grieve. The loss is real and deep, as is the pain that will reside with those who knew and loved her for as long as they are here while she is gone. But there will be joy, for now she has found the Love she was unable to know before.
Life and love are eternal. Even as You now comfort Sunny, comfort those in sorrow over her physical death as You whisper, “I too know pain and loss. Its okay to hurt and wonder why. But it’s all right. I’ve got this one.
“She’s safe with Me now.”
And Jesus, please help me to comfort those who mourn, not by tossing out words and then hiding somewhere but by doing what You’ve told me and all who believe in You to do: genuinely care in deed, not just word.
That’s something in which there are no different tribes.