The Miracle (and Nightmare) of Social Media
Jane Kelly Durham
02/22/64 ~ 07/03/12
portrait drawn by
Danielle N Calhoun
There are times when, the elements being in unusual commotion, those who are
bent on daring enterprises, or agitated by great thoughts, whether of good or
evil, feel a mysterious sympathy with the tumult of nature, and are roused into
corresponding violence. In the midst of thunder, lightning, and storm, many
tremendous deeds have been committed; men, self-possessed before, have given a
sudden loose to passions they could no longer control. The demons of wrath and
despair have striven to emulate those who ride the whirlwind and direct the
storm; and man, lashed into madness with the roaring winds and boiling waters,
has become for the time as wild and merciless as the elements themselves.
I marvel at the miracle that is Social Media and Facebook, in particular. It unites families separated sometimes by thousands of miles. It reunites old friends once thought lost to the years. It forges friendships with the unlikeliest of people sometimes a half a world apart. And it forever unites the hearts of all of these individuals, one with the other. But, with the miracle comes the nightmare that is Social media and Facebook, in particular. Friendships forged through common interests in something like animals or even faith sometimes turns into a nightmare when we discover that people who appear gentle and kind and caring on the surface suddenly morphing into some black-hearted soul bent on nothing more than the total annihilation of a person, or group of people, simply because they look, behave or believe differently. The resulting chaos diminishes self-esteem and erodes self-confidence until, finally, the victim of the assault is nothing more than a quivering, fear filled shell of a person who questions everything they once loved about their lives.
This has caused me lately to find myself, through my response to the behaviors of these people, suddenly bearing on my own shoulders, the mantle of one of the Seven Deadly Sins……
Now while I actually am disgusted that I have been compelled to feel this way by the actions of others, I am less upset at those upon whose head I unleashed my fury as I am at my own weakness in not being able to be more Christ-like in my dealings with them. They are, after all human beings who have been lead astray by Satan into falsely believing they act on the side of the angels by what they say and do! And it is Satan who has inflicted me with feeling such anger at their actions. That is because I am, just as they are, all too human. I am, as they are, displaying my all too human propensity toward weakness in the way I act and even in the depth of my faith. But, unlike them, I recognize this fallibility and weakness within myself and I am able to ask my Father to forgive my trespass. I am not as certain that those who have acted so badly have done the same. But, I can do something about that and so can you. We can ask God, as we offer Him our prayers today, that he enlighten the minds of those who wreak vengeance upon the heads of innocents and we can ask that He forgive them their trespass even as He forgives our own. AND, we can ask that He remain with and ease the hearts of those who have been so horribly abused and subjected to the evil actions of those individuals. And even though that is all we can do, it is surely enough in God’s eyes! It MUST be!
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