Did your grandma clip things out of the newspaper or magazine and send them to you? Does your aunt still do that? How about your mom?
I was chatting with someone about this just the other day. I come from a long line of clippers. Over a lifetime I’ve gotten more clippings and articles than I can count. Whether or not I agreed with them, I dutifully read them, knowing that the one who took the time to send it thought it important enough to take that time to get it to me. Okay. Sometimes I just scanned them. I know I’m not the only one.
The thing is, clipping an article and sending it to someone is a way of saying, “Here. I think this is worthwhile. Maybe your day/week/life will be somehow enriched by these words.” Maybe it’s even saying, “I love you.” And the person receiving it sighs, maybe rolls his eyes, glances at it, keeps it for a short period of time and then throws it away.
Enter Facebook. Let’s pause and take a sip of coffee first. Nicely done.
Sharing thoughts, beliefs, and information is an imperfect effort. No matter how or when, we really don’t perfectly understand each other very often. But we keep trying anyway. And now we’re living in a time when our lives are very much affected by what’s going on around us. Think what you wish, but I really don’t think things are going to get better. They are going to get worse. They are going to get more heated because time is short and Jesus is simply waiting to hear “Now”. Putting our hands to our ears won’t change that. Withdrawing from the news won’t change it. Neither will puppy posts. Okay, puppy posts might change it for a minute.
This blog post isn’t about the snarky and sometimes kind-of funny posts or the obnoxious why-would-anyone-write-much-less-share posts or the downright mean posts. I am writing about articles that float around the internet cloud and somehow find their way to your newsfeed. They are articles you love and articles you hate. Depending on who your friends are you get a lot of clippings. A downpour of clippings. A torrent of clippings. Folks get tired of the clippings. They’re getting bleary-eyed from the clippings. I’d like to take this moment to remind you, and myself, too, what those likes or shares or posts represent. They represent time your friend took to read something and (admittedly short) time they took to share it. Maybe you think it’s a decent article. Perhaps you shake your head and look at the ceiling. Or more likely still, you just scroll right on by. Why should you care what they think or what they’ve learned or thought about? But let’s remember what’s behind the effort: “Here. I think this is worthwhile. Maybe your day/week/life will be somehow enriched by these words. I love you.”