My involvement in social media, especially Facebook, has both widened my world and made it feel smaller. It's widened my world in that I am able to more readily connect with many more people as well as learn things about them and about the world that I never knew before. It's made my world feel smaller in that I begin to realize how deeply connected we all are, how much we share in common, even those of us who don't really know each other.
I've been thinking about that this week as I'm a little bit on overload with life. Still grieving my mom's loss at the same time I am celebrating her homecoming to glory -- an unexpected month ago today. Time marching relentlessly on and there's so much to do: homeschooling, ministry, household tasks, writing work. Still hurting and aching and dealing with broken sleep patterns. Deadlines that were graciously extended for me in early January are upon me now, and I am writing, writing, writing to get things done, still not sure I can possibly make them. Our difficult fourth quarter financially has pushed us into a hard one again in this first quarter of the new year, and I am needing to pick up extra web content writing at a time when I don't have the mental space or the physical stamina to do it, but I'm doing it anyway because the bills have to be paid. Hours at the computer, even with stretching and moving breaks, are exacerbating my back and hip issues. I am worn out on almost every level, but I am being very careful to keep taking one small step at a time and to keep holding onto Jesus.
In the midst of all this, I am checking in daily at FB, as I usually do, and finding my news feed so full of things to celebrate and mourn that it can almost be overwhelming. I'm not sure there's really any difference in what I'm seeing in my feed right now and what's usually there -- I'm just noticing more, feeling extra sensitive to what I'm reading. My rejoicing feels deeper and my sadness more intense. It's not a bad thing really, and it's not something that I feel I need to stop doing (I'm trying to be careful not to spend too much time on the trivial stuff, but I do love the ways the things I read there can inform my prayers). But it strikes me, not for the first time, how deeply glad I am that God is God and I am not. I cannot even keep straight the interconnections of my own one life, and yet God, in his vastness and majesty and wisdom is able to keep ALL the web of connections straight, not just in my life but in every life. He not only sees them and knows them and loves us through them, he helps us to untangle the threads and see the pattern. He hears the cries and rejoices with the rejoicing and nudges the reluctant and encourages the weary and gently corrects the ones who are wandering and calls out to those who don't yet know him. It is an amazing thing to contemplate from my own tired and sometimes overwhelmed vantage point. He does not grow weary. He does not faint. He does not stop loving us no matter how gorgeously or sadly tangled and complex our lives grow -- and sometimes the beauty and the sadness are so interwoven we can't see where one stops and another starts.
Just this week I have marveled over the first flower grown in space, contemplated incredible art, looked at auroras viewed from the International Space Station, and watched video footage of waves washing up on the shores of Galilee (taken by friends on sabbatical). I have mourned with a family whose baby died, rejoiced with a friend for whom God miraculously provided all the funds they needed to bring home their fifth adopted child, rejoiced with that same friend in the news that she is ten years cancer free, and marveled over the fact that she is not resting on the joys of being able to bring home her little girl, but beginning to raise funds for wheelchairs for other children in the same orphanage. I have smiled over the stories told my an acquaintance who remembers praying for a certain country when she was a little girl: a country she is currently visiting so she can get to know her newly adopted teenage daughter, a country where it has been difficult for the gospel to gain a hearing and yet where she saw fifteen baptisms of new Christians this week. I have smiled over the excitement felt by some families, children, and yes, teachers, over approaching snowstorms.
This is just a tiny slice of some of the connections that happen to be passing before my eyes over the past few days. It's amazing to ponder the wonders, moments, and stories that God contemplates each and every day from the vantage point of his almighty view. That he doesn't just contemplate them but act within them and through them for our good and his glory is incredibly beautiful and humbling. I am so thankful to be his daughter.