I'm going to take a different turn than the usual posting of my prayers and those who've asked for them today and issue a type of challenge/complaint (I'm not sure which this really is!)
I'll explain: I was on Facebook last night and began chatting with an old friend from my radio days who is now pregnant (which I only knew from her Facebook status). I congratulated her on her news and then she told me that she had been pregnant before but that her child had died after only a few months after birth. I had no idea and felt terrible that I didn't know and hadn't said anything until now.
I realize that people lose touch with one another and that is the case here, but there are several people from that time in my life who knew about this who I talk to almost daily who never mentioned a word about this to me. I'm not blaming here, but I am upset at how this didn't get relayed to me.
Why do we withhold intimate details of our lives to one another? When someone else has tragic news we often leave it to that person to have to spread the news. It seems unjust but it also seems like we think we should be minding our own business too. There doesn't seem to be an easy answer here.
And yet, we long for that intimacy with one another. We long for it so much that we've started inventing new (albeit cheap substitutes) ways of doing it through things like Facebook and Twitter. I have found out more about people through Facebook than I have any other method of information sharing in the last year. I don't know if that's a good thing but it has led me to some more intimate encounters with God and with people in crisis.
So I'd like to issue a thought. When you hear of tragic news: perhaps a Facebook status update or a tweet from Twitter could read something like these:
"Mike is praying for baby Hailey who went to God today and asks prayers for her mom."
"Mike is praying for Steve who is unemployed."
"Mike is praying for Linda who has been sick."
"Mike is praying for his mom who is back in the hospital."
Let me know what you think about this.
A short homily for Thanksgiving
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