Peace vs. Post
A while back, I spent hours on a Saturday afternoon with my nose to my phone, scrolling through my Twitter feed while the world went crazy over a teen-age boy in a red hat. The ugliness of it was overwhelming, and while I had plenty of other things to do--writing, reading, dishes, laundry--I couldn't look away. An hour passed, and another, and the vitriol spilled in long strings of anger and hate. I sat with my own thoughts, hopping from one side of the argument to the other, and then switched to Facebook to post about the joy of finding chilli in the freezer.
Today's socially charged climate brings forth a new question: To post? Or, not to post? Do we use our platforms (such as they are) to support our causes, or do we lurk in the shadows, not wanting to offend? Do we cushion the blow with a caveat I don't usually post political things, BUT... before going on to post a political thing? Or do we make an offering, I'm just going to leave this here... and let the comments wag the tail? The question actually came up among a group of writer friends--whether or not we, not as writers, but as Christians--have an obligation to wade into the lapping tide of controversy. Should we update the status of our hearts? Tweet our minds? Post our prayers?
Post our prayers.
Pondering this, the lyrics of a favorite hymn came to my mind. "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" with this lyric--
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Here's the deal: I look at what's happening in the world, and like the hymn says, there are trials, temptations, and trouble everywhere. I grieve for those killed before they are born, for those killed before they graduate, for those killed in the line of duty, for those killed for being the wrong person at the wrong time. I hate our nation's hate. I miss some leaders and mistrust others. I wish people could change laws, I wish laws could change people. I know a lot about somethings, a little about a lot of things, and more about everything than I probably need to.
And I'll say this: I have forfeited peace, I have borne pain, I have been discouraged because I've taken my thoughts to my friends (and my "friends") instead of taking them straight to the Lord in prayer. I've spent hours defending my heart, making my case, proving my point. I've been blocked, insulted, unfriended. I've posted, retracted, deleted. I've typed with shaking fingers and a seething brain. I know what it means to fume.
Lately, I've decided that my peace is worth more than a post.