The Jumbles of Life through Facebook

The jumbles of life are many.  Since the creation of
Facebook, we sometimes get to experience so much of life with just one newsfeed
check.  This morning my friend Denise posted pictures of gifts for
Jamaican children they are gathering for an upcoming mission’s trip.  I
got a text from a friend who is enjoying the wonderful beaches of Long Island
and my other friend Jim shared a video clip of his pastor’s son's memorial
service.  I have pictures of newborns, and the announcement of a parent
passing.  All of life’s emotions in a single newsfeed check.  I even
had my own history moment as Facebook shared my six year old post concerning
Darryl and his then healing process.   My emotions and thoughts raced for a
while, as I tried to process each story.  These stories remind me that
each of us is a complex combination of emotions. Not just on Facebook, but each
of us as human beings.  

The Bible encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice and
mourn with those who mourn.  I can rejoice with the newlyweds, the new
parents and those who are retiring.  For some reason, I find it a little
more difficult (honesty moment here) to thoroughly rejoice with those who are
taking a vacation with their family or spouse that I'm not sure I will ever be
able to do.  It takes me a few thought moments to adjust my thinking, and
many times I realize that there are many people who look at my life and find it
amazing and wish they could do some of the things I have been privileged to do.
I had a wonderful loving marriage partner, I have a home that by God's
grace is paid for, I have an amazing family who loves and cares for me.  I
get to touch lives for His Kingdom as He leads.   I have eight
grandchildren with one more due this October.  Then I find myself
rejoicing with myself at the goodness of God!

What a joy to see the latest Lego creation my granddaughter
Harmony made to help her learn about jellyfish.  Facebook helps us stay
connected with the small steps of life as well.  I got to see a picture of
my nephew Nathaniel and his young baby daughter.  It was good to see her
growth progress and the smile of this dad while they are living in England, and
I am here in Washington.  I was prompted to simply more than check
"like", but to write a little something to them.  

My heart hurts for Pastor Mickel's family and Westside Church of
Bend, Oregon.  Pastor and Mrs Mickel lost their first born last week in a
car accident.  My friend, Jim Stephens posted a video of the father
talking about their son.  I know their grief journey has just begun, but
as I listened to him, I realized some of God's preparation to help them through
this unexpected loss.  As parents they determined this past year to love
and accept their son for who he was.  His strengths and weaknesses, to
appreciate the man God made him to be.   I could tell this heart
adjustment helped them communicate to him their love and care in some
meaningful ways this past year.  Only God knew that it would be their last
with him on this earth.  So I mourn with them, even though I have not lost
a child, and I can only imagine the immense pain of their loss.

I also read about others GoFundMe requests to help with medical/funeral bills.  I see pictures of
hurting people crying out for a hug or someone to say, yes I read that post.
Sometimes is does overwhelm my emotions, but it is a great opportunity to
pray and quickly send encouragement.  We can join in the mourning even
though we are a long way away.

Due to social media we can run the gamut quickly of rejoicing
and mourning.  I'm reminded that it is not just those I follow on Facebook,
but it is also those who I see at the grocery story, the gas station and post
office who have their own stories.  When I take the time to really focus
on the individuals around me, not being critical, but compassionate my own day
improves.   If I let it, I can join with the other humans on this planet
and ask our Heavenly Father to give me eyes to see and a heart to care for
those I meet, either briefly or who are more permanently a part of my life.

It is our privilege and responsibility to reach out through prayer and support.  Will you please pray for the Mickel family as they journey this life without their eldest son?