I remember when I lived in the Nevada desert and was one depressed cookie.
Some days I drove to the supermarket--not because I needed to buy anything--but with the single hope that someone would smile at me. I dared to dream they might even say, "Hello."
And so I'd drive to the store, pull out a shopping cart and wander the aisles trying to collect smiles and hellos. Then, after some smiles, I'd drive through the streets back home, thinking, "Hmm... the sun seems to be shining brighter now! And I feel better."
Of course, it wasn't ideal that I relied upon people to fix me, to zap away my loneliness but, at that time, that's all I could think of.
Hence, that's why you won't read in my blog that Facebook is shallow.
I mean, when I read my friends' status reports, whether they are glad or sad ones, or prayer requests or photos (etc.), I recall my depression years and how I yearned for something like Facebook out there in the desert. Oh, the way I would have appreciated the simple clicks of 'like'! The kind comments about my ideas or photos and all the folks who would have written that they were praying for me after I shared a request would have thrilled my brain.
I sooo needed to be listened to back then, even from within a computer screen. Just some tiny nods at Facebook (had there been a Facebook), would have brought light to my clouds-like-ink afternoons.
Again, God had something much higher for me ahead than such a desperate reliance upon people. But until I got there, I needed what I needed. And I needed to survive until I found that deeper place in God.
And now, in 2010, I feel that some of my Facebook friends are standing upon my long ago footprints in the sand where I stood in 1989. And only a few feet ahead is the bridge which will carry them over to where God makes Himself so darn obvious (when we become less so), there in the midst of delight. On the other side.
But they have a few more hours, a few more yards left to walk until they reach that bridge. So if by clicking 'like' or writing, "I will pray" or just telling them I spent time reading their words, maybe my listening will nudge them closer to the bridge. Will keep them on the road, out of dark ditches, until they find The Answer for themselves.
That's huge. And not shallow at all.
Remembering this also slows me down when I'm zooming my cart through grocery aisles. Someone there just may need me to smile at them.
"He must increase, I must decrease."