I like a lot about social media. Sure, there are negative aspects about it, but really it’s a reflection of the human condition which can be as good as you want to see it and as ugly as it can get – and sure, it gets mega-ugly. I like it though because the people I tend to knock around with online on the whole are pleasant people.
Things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have kept me kind of in touch with people I have known of for years. That’s been really good in being aware of developments in their lives. I am more than aware, however, that social media does not replace the importance of relationships at the deep, intimate personal level. If all you get to know of a person is what they post on social media, it can never give that insight into a person, though it can certainly be informative.
In that sense it mirrors well some superficial approaches we have to life beyond social media. We can give the impression of something and maintain a functioning exterior, but it takes greater investment for others to see beyond that exterior. What I love about some of the relationships my wife and I have developed is how transparent we are allowed to be with them. That can’t happen with every relationship we have, but it does happen with some. They have our permission to see what’s going on inside and we need that. I certainly need that, because it’s easy to live on the surface and engaging with stuff on the outside, talking about things, but never talking personally. Yet it is in the personal talk that I can receive much needed insight and sometimes have things said to me that I didn’t acknowledge or appreciate.
If everything appears to be running smoothly with me, that is definitely not a façade. It is because there are those who know what’s going on inside and get to pray with and for me, advise and support me, then witness me work with God to endeavour to live out the kind of life in line with His desire for me.
It is not all hunky dory with me at the moment, but there is so much for which I am grateful. Even waking up this morning, I was reminded of how loving Jesus the Shepherd is in leading me, feeding me, restoring me and keeping me. I am alive to recognise that and rejoice with that in the company of a devoted, supportive and loving wife as well as three brilliant, beautiful daughters.
That God should also bless me with a family beyond these precious people, who are a part of that too reinforces His care for me and desire that in loving others I also allow others to love me. For that to happen requires people to engage with what’s going on inside.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden