You know what's crazy? When you're scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, and an update catches your eye. It's a Bible verse. And it makes you go, "--wait."
I mean, I don't know about you, but my newsfeed is full of Bible verses. Probably because a large percentage of my Facebook friends at least pretend to be interested in the Bible. And a large percentage of that percentage actually are interested in the Bible.
I see a lot of the Bible in my newsfeed each day, but you know what makes it crazy? When that same update is from a friend that doesn't fall into the aforementioned percentage. Maybe you met them at libertarian camp. Maybe they go to your school. Maybe they used to be all about the Bible thing but flipped the truth the finger and left it behind.
But in your Facebook newsfeed, so innocuous but so out of place, it's your hardcore partier friend quoting God on the internet.
What is going on?
So you do some Facebook creeping. And then stuff gets crazier! You see that they're in a recovery program. You see "C.S. Lewis" under "Recent Likes." You see a picture of them tagged with what appears to be a Christian-esque small group, or sometimes even a picture of their baptism.
And then you're like, this is so crazy! You get all excited like you've discovered an Easter egg convert in a sea of Facebook friends. You're astounded by whom and how God has drawn to Himself. You're encouraged by the substantive change and genuine transformation they've experienced. You grin with joy at this crazy random happenstance!
But don't you feel a wee bit sad, too?
That person is my Facebook friend. However weak our connection, this internet archive testifies to the fact that our paths crossed. And yet, I can recall no instance where I asserted the truth to that person. I can think of experience or conversation with them in which I pointed to Jesus. I can't even comment as to the difference I noticed in my newsfeed with that Bible verse update, because I have no real relationship with that person.
That person was too different from me.
That person made me too uncomfortable.
That person was spiritually too far away.
It's not a mindful neglect, of course not, but a spiritual passivity. I forget sometimes that God is working. (In my network of Facebook friends, of all places.) And I forget that God wants to work through me. (To reach the people that may become my Facebook friends, of all people.) What does it look like to view every interaction as an opportunity for relationship? I'm thinking that's pretty creepy. (But then again, so is Facebook stalking, but we do it anyway!)
I love seeing these updates, but I hate seeing them, too. Because as much as they bring me joy that God is working all the time in unexpected placed, these updates also bring me regret that I have missed out on the blessing of being part of the process because I am too lazy, selfish, or scared. And that conviction stings. But it hurts so good.
*Please forgive the use of the plural pronoun in lieu of s/he. I'm not a grammar rebel, I'm just colloquial.