It was a rather purposeful accidental thing. I sat in the dark technical booth in the back of the room, with a lighting board to my left and a soundboard to my right. In front of me was a room full of shadowed figures listening to timeless words.
I looked down at the screen in my hands – a virtual neighborhood of pictures and stories. I was typing updates about a new group of people hearing the same timeless message 15 miles away. And a face caught my attention. The face of a friend.
That face led to others. One by one, I scrolled through the list of Facebook friends. I looked at each photo, read each name and whispered to myself how I knew each person.
Kindergarten. Romania. Nashville. Project Greenlight. My best friend in high school. My boss at Blockbuster. Guatemala. Twitter. Instagram. Russia. Television in Oklahoma. Together for Adoption. Television in Dallas. Orphan Outreach. Television in Austin. Uganda. Then. Now.
I heard the timeless message continue in the dark room as I prayed for each person on the small illuminated screen in front of me. Short, simple prayers of hope and redemption, of love and reconciliation, of strength and healing. Occasionally, I’d stop on a name, a face – my heart tugging just a bit harder. Silently, the scrolling continued, in upside-down alphabetical order.
The family ripped apart by divorce. The friend tired of being alone. The mom holding on to hope for her child. The husband still jobless after so many tries. The new cheerleader. The new chef. The new author. The new graduate. The new wife. The Republican. The Democrat. The always vocal. The noticeably silent.
Z to A. One by one. A quiet, holy moment in the midst of a timeless message. And then it was over.
Or perhaps it wasn’t.
In a day, more than 100 people acknowledged that quiet holy, purposeful accidental moment. 32 people took time to write a note of thanks – even people who don’t believe in the God who answers. Emails were sent with requests for more prayer. And a chat with a former coworker brought me to tears. He was sick and suffering. He felt alone and distraught. He had literally “dropped out of view.” I prayed and promised to pray more. I wept for him, and then wept for me too –angry tears for the girl who had been too busy, for the one who had noticed the absence but not taken the time to find out why.
I’ve come to believe that none of us wants to be anonymous. We may have no inclinations toward fame, may have no desire to be visible. But we all want to know that someone notices our comings and goings. We want to know someone really does significantly care. We want to believe that someone is watching out for us. And I’ve come to understand that more often than not, God is going to use us to remind others that He is in the significant care business. He can move mountains – but He’s much more likely to move us.
On Sunday, He opted to use an iPad and Facebook to send a note to people. Today, He may want to use a hug, loose change, a hand-written note, or Skype. Tomorrow, He’ll have a whole new list of ideas. The question is, will I again be too busy – will I notice the absence but not take the time to find out why. I wonder how many times I’ve missed the chance to be the reminder.
What about you? How has God used you to remind others of His significant care?