The internet is a funny thing. It has tremendous power to connect or destroy, to build up or demolish. It can help us to accomplish what we feel most called to do... or keep us from that very thing. How we choose to use this tool is the greatest deciding factor in what the outcome will be... an important choice to make.
Over the past year, I have started to read a wide variety of blogs. One thing that has been so interesting to me is following a blog trail... one blog that leads to another that leads to another, and so on... And in doing so, I have landed on a variety of interesting reads.
Perhaps it all began with reading Lysa Terkhurst's blog after hearing her speak at Hearts at Home. Lysa's blog was an extension of her speaking ministry and in that way, I was being encouraged by her written words building on those she'd spoken. I think it was Lysa's blog that led me to Angie's blog. Angie's blog was a new experience for me... raw, painful, faithful and true, I was drawn into the lessons and thoughts she bravely shared after the loss her sweet newborn. Somewhere along the way, I ended up Marla Taviano's blog and was drawn into the day to day living and enthusiasm that she shares regularly. It was Marla's blog that connected me to The Mac's Blog the week that their daughter, Cora, was first diagnosed with cancer. For the first time, I was drawn into someone else's story, not as a memory, but as something currently happening in real time. As I hugged my little ones, they hugged their Cora. As I prayed with my children for dinner, they prayed for healing for their girl. And as I attended a wedding in Nashville, their sweet baby died of cancer only weeks after being diagnosed.
As I read Cora's story, I felt compelled to pray. I prayed for this family, unknown to me personally, as though we were life-long friends. I prayed for healing, for comfort, for peace. I prayed as Cora struggled. I prayed as Cora died. I prayed still today for Cora's parents, Joel and Jess, as they continue to piece together a life that looks nothing like they had expected just 8 months ago.
Blog to blog, connections made. It is all so facinating to me likely because this way of connecting is really pretty new. But, I believe there is value in what is happening this way... value in the world being connected via blogging or facebook or twitter... value in the Kingdom of God being revealed like this. And, at the core, that is what it all feels like to me. A glimpse into the Kingdom that I might not have otherwise seen. A glimpse into the simple, ordinary lives of people just like me... and in willingly taking that glimpse, a bridge is being built. A bridge is being built that helps me to see that Joel and Jess and Lysa and Angie and Marla are an awful lot like me. We have something to share... some ordinary moment, some lesson we have learned, some funny statement or homey recipe or sincere need, that connects us in a way that is very much the way God builds His Kingdom. Because the truth is, I don't know Joel and Jess. I don't know them at all. But, they had a need and I could help. They needed prayer... lots and lots of prayer. They have traveled a road that most of us cannot even begin to imagine and what they need is not another meal or a pat on the back or a sypathetic, spoken cliche. What they need is for someone to cry out for them... pray for them... be WITH them in any way at all... so that they can find strength and be eased from their pain and be comforted by The One who comforts best. I can do that. I want to do that.
I think it was Angie's blog that lead me to MckMama's Blog. Have you heard about it? Oh, my dear friends, there is a family who needs your help. Their baby, Stellan, has an issue with his heart and is very, very ill. With three other children (all very young) at home, MckMama is being airlifted with her husband to a hospital in Boston in hopes of finding some help for their baby Stellan. We cannot make this baby well. But, we know The One who can. Pray with me for this young family and for the doctors who will work with Stellan today.
Every now and then, we can see a little glimpse into what God's Kingdom is coming to be. Every now and then, we look around and see how He has connected us. It may be a new way of connecting and yes, it is very different from meeting over a cup of coffee at Panera... but, it matters. It is why we log onto the internet, why I visit blogs, why you visit here. In some small way, we are sticking out our hands and hoping that someone on the other side reaches out and grabs on tight. In a world that has grown more divided than ever before, the internet can provide a way for us to sit on the porch and wave to our neighbors, though they may be a world away. It's no substitute for java and face-to-face chat, but it does provide a way for us to add on to that. It gives us a way to see something bigger... to meet someone new... to connect in a way that likely could not happen without broadband to tie the knot.
There is something comforting about knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves. There is something humbling about knowing we can play a part in the life of another. These feelings come from the fact that we are made to be in relationship with one another. We are created to seek connection and to lend a loving hand. Can you see it? If we choose, we can squint our eyes and see a part of the Kingdom we might have missed. It is not more important, or less, than the corner we sit in right now... but it is a part of it nonetheless. As I sit here right now, a baby is being airlifted to Boston. I don't know him at all. But I know his story and I know his need and it is my privilege to pray for Stellan. I hope you will pray with me.
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