I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my love of the English language and how when I was a kid I would read a Thesaurus just for fun. Somehow in our attempt to “simplify” everything we have created an entire language with emojis and I doubt anyone under the age of 20 knows what a thesaurus does!! We see emojis used everywhere and they have become a part of daily communication and language. Interestingly enough, today I am handwriting my first draft of this blog. I am not doing it because I particularly wanted to, I am doing it because I can have no electronic devices while I wait for court to begin. I have to prove that some jackass tore up our equipment, wouldn’t return it and refused to pay…..but I digress! Being unplugged is very pleasant to me but I find that it takes me awhile (6 crossword puzzles later) to unclog my thoughts!
Not long ago I was talking to my High School Sunday school class about the importance of prayer and following through with our words. For example, we often tend to fill uncomfortable situations where others are hurting or going through difficult situations with phrases like, “I will pray for you.” My question to them was, “Do you? Do you actually say a prayer for them?” Their answer was an overwhelming “No!” I wasn’t surprised because most adults are the guiltiest! My challenge to them was to actually stop right then and ask the person if they could pray with them. Timely prayer is a good thing! Then you aren’t faced with the guilt of forgetting later and your words mean something! Some of them have come back to me to describe the responses they experienced and most found it easy and gratifying. I have done it several times in my own life and the response is so much more positive than just saying, “I’ll pray for you” and not following through because I go on with my day.
We post our sadness, our thoughts, intimate and painful pleas for love and support in times of great sorrow, great joy, births, family events, ups and downs and everything in between in our daily lives. It takes time to connect and really hear what that person feels. All of us are well intending in our replies and even in our emojis, and we take that moment to acknowledge another person. Recently I joined a prayer group on Facebook. there is no unkindness, no politics, no hateful memes, no snarky comments, there are just petitions for others to enlist the power of prayer for their needs. Some pray the Rosary for the group, some write long prayers and some, like me, pray immediately for the person posting. It is incredibly humbling to see some of the painful requests. I am so thankful for that group. I don’t see the praying hands emoji on there very often.
I am really great with the Emojis of smiling faces, the laughing faces, the questioning faces, poop emojis, hearts, and most all of them including “the bird”, however, the praying hands are difficult for me. Words without action are just words, emojis without prayer are equally as ineffective. It takes less than one second to hit that button and forget it, it takes 30 seconds or less to stop and say a prayer. WE have moved into a world where social media is the largest means of communication. We read and misread comments, we assume the intention of the person posting, and we egotistically assume our importance of said post in even the shirt tail, “I barely know you” friends. We are like, Carly Simon sang, “So Vain” that we assume every post is somehow about us! I am GUILTY of all of these behaviors. I actually believed for awhile that hitting the “like” button on a picture somehow contributed to others lives when in fact, it had become some weird measuring stick for the value I assigned to my life. I would look at the number of “likes” and who ”liked” it and if someone didn’t “like it” as I thought should have, I would beat myself up and take it as an affront to my life, feelings, or value. I would analyze what I did to upset them and I would decide that I was unworthy and my feelings would get hurt, or I would stew about it and question all of my short comings. I would let a “like” allow all of my short comings to heighten a lifetime of insecurities. Man, it’s a painful way to measure my worth. I have had enough therapy to know that my worth isn’t defined by anyone but me, and it is definitely not defined by social media, texts, or electronic delivery. I don’t want to be that person. I am a physical, hugging, loving woman who’s emotions and needs can’t be “liked” or “emojified”.
I have seen miracles. I have watched REAL prayer change situations and comforted people. My fervent promise is this: You will never see me post my praying hands on a post where you are truly hurting. I vow to pray for you when I tell you “I will pray for you.” I will post a heart when I love you, I will also tell you. I will promise to do my best to really see your pleas and acknowledge them. Everyone needs a day to unplug and refocus. This has been good to write and not type, feel and not try to stop the emotion. I am walking a journey no one can understand. I am making mistakes, asking for forgiveness and taking more time to really “hear” people. For me words have always been my tools, I promise to try to use them for good, not to simplify those words with shortcuts. I am blessed, you are blessed. My prayer is this, “Heavenly Father, please shine your blessings and love on my friends and readers. Help me to be ever conscious of my words and use them to share and resonate with love. Amen.”
Until then….write it, pray it, mean what you pray…mean what you say