Like many others in a means to maintain some sort of connection with people while observing social distancing, I’ve come to the realization that a great deal of engagement happens via social media. It’s through this utility that I learn of good news, not so good news, partake in a little political debate, receive encouragement and enjoy a healthy dose of laughter. I’ve also noticed that folx who don’t regularly participate in social media are a bit more active given our sheltering in place. In particular, Facebook even created a “care” emoji to provide an additional response to COVID-19. However, sometimes people post content that requires more than a simple “reaction.” I find myself unable to “like, love, care, wow, weep nor anger” the post. Doing so has felt like I either minimized or inadequately expressed my thoughts in relation to their presentation. Instead, the only viable action I’ve moved to express is my thoughts, my reaction, my support, if you will is through my words, my commentary, my prayers. Doing so placed me in the frame of my connection with our Creator. On any given day, there are a myriad of occurrences that occur by which God has allowed, and often I don’t express a “liking” and instead must opt to provide the depth of my soul’s cry through my words, my commentary, my prayers if you will.
God is not out here in these streets attempting to engage in an effort for our approval. He doesn’t need it! He never solicits it. He doesn’t perform for response. He doesn’t operate in a provocative manner to see how we will respond. Quite the contrary. However, transparently speaking, sometimes I think I get it twisted. God doesn’t need my permission to be God. He is unbothered as to the extent to which I either “like, love, care, wow, weep or anger” my reaction to mountains He moves, the length of time He elects to do so, or if He decides not to do so at all. Yet, He does care about my words. He cares about my communication with Him. He does want to hear my response.
So much has happened over the last 100+ days. I’m reminded that when the graduate candidate was a child, there was always a 100th day celebration at school. It was a time of reflection for special recognition of achievement. Over the last 100 days, some of us have posted about births, many more sadly have posted about death and sickness, and not all COVID-19 related. Some have posted about unemployment, or underemployment. Some have had to move to places and spaces that are more affordable. Health care is under attack yet again, and yet concurrently, dreamers were affirmed in their homeland and members of the LGVTQA+ community were affirmed with protections in the workplace. Some have posts about the mattering of Black lives, and even those posts have been met with resistance, ignorance and downright hate. So many posts. So many posts. God, I don’t have to “like, love, care, wow, weep or anger” my reaction to any other than you! And even then, I must recognize that you are not obligated to support it – but glory, I’m grateful that you do incubate it. We are commanded to cast our cares upon you because you care (1 Peter 5:7)!
I’ve seen posts that have some content to “check” whether or not its being read by someone. It attempts to “check” whether someone scrolls or stops. We also beckon people to “like and share” to make it go viral. Thank God for Jesus! While we may not “like” what He is doing, we never have to bait Him into our lives to engage Him in such shenanigans. We can always expect Him to stop and not scroll pass our lives and everything happening therein. And when I don’t “like or love” what is going on, my response will not change who He is. I say to Him, “You continue to be God amidst the hell around us. You remain sovereign. You remain vigilant. You remain strong. You remain mighty. You remain. You remain. You remain.”
Again, I am finding an emoji insufficient these days as I interact with my social media family. It is an insufficient response to the beautiful babies you post. It is insufficient when you share how God has kept you from death despite a terminal diagnosis. It is insufficient to fully express how your post has my breaking point into hysterical laughter and breakthrough. It is insufficient to contain my rage as I view one more act of hatred and superiority not endorsed by God.
But God is sufficient in all things. As the songwriter pinned, “there is no shadow of turning” with Him. As we navigate the days, we may stand upon Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations He hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”
Just because someone doesn’t respond to what we elect to share, doesn’t mean they do not wish us well; the same is true of God. His tangible support upon our lives is not always visible to us, but we must trust that He sees, He knows, He cares. In fact, He is the ultimate care emoji! He doesn’t take us and what we are navigating for granted, and He has assigned people to us, to intercede for us that we may never know; particularly if we only seek evidence of their support via an emoji. In God, there is all sufficiency. And in the words of DeBarge, “OOh and I Like It!” Selah.