Social Networking, Is It Worth My Time?

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

I've asked myself, more than a few times, if social networking is worth my time. I've been blogging since February, tweeting since March, and a few weeks ago I joined Facebook. I like meeting new friends online and sharing my thoughts, but too often I find myself glued to the computer when I should be doing other things. Sound familiar?

Late last night, I was about to log out of Twitter when this message popped onto my screen:

On way home worried abt hubby haven't heard from him all day.. Rushing home..

The message was from a woman named Rissa. I follow quite a few people on Twitter, and to be honest this was the first tweet from Rissa that I'd read entirely. There were others, but I'd scanned through them too fast to care. As I re-read Rissa's simple 140-character message, I prayed: "Dear God, please let her husband be all right." I waited for her to tweet again. Meanwhile, I went to her web page. I was curious to find out more about this person who was nothing more to me than a name on my computer screen.

Her profile said:

I am a deaf/hard of hearing/A.D.H.D Wife to an amazing man whom I've been married to for a short while but been with for the last 4 years.. I am a daughter, sister & Step Mom to two wonderful sons & have two incredible grandsons whom I adore very much.. I am also a daughter to a wonderful King who teaches me that his grace is all I need.. each & every day..

There was a photo of Rissa and the husband for whom, at that very moment, I was praying. I was struck by the reality of the situation. I imagined myself in the car with Rissa, entering the house, discovering that everything was all right and breathing a big sigh of relief…. At least, that's what I hoped was happening. Just then, another tweet came onto the screen. This one was from Gail Hyatt whom I also follow on Twitter. She had an update from Rissa:

Please pray for @handsdance ("handsdance" is Rissa's Twitter name). She came home & found her husband unconscious. She's very scared. 911 is there. No pulse.

Within seconds, literally, dozens of new tweets popped up from people who, like me, were watching, waiting and praying. A few minutes later, Gail posted this:

Thank you everyone praying for my precious Twitter friend @handsdance's husband. It's not looking good. She's so scared.

This message set off a string of RTs (i.e. retweets; passing Gail's message along for other twitterers to see). Soon, there were many more people praying. More anxious minutes passed, and then Gail posted again:

@handsdance You are being supported in prayer right now by scores of Twitter prayer warriors. Praying for God's comforting presence.

There was no reply. I was reluctant to log out and go to bed without knowing how James was. (He was James to me now, not just someone's "hubby," but a man with a face and a name.) I waited, as I'm sure others did, hoping that the outcome would be good. Then, at around midnight, we finally heard from Rissa:

Thanks to everyone who's praying for me.. My hubby is with Jesus.. Family here & my parents are on way..

My heart sank. From hundreds of miles away, I had witnessed someone die and the pain of a loved one left behind. I had also seen an enormous outpouring of love and concern as the events of the night unfolded.

The Bible says: "Pray for one another." It's a simple and straightforward verse in the book of James, a command. It's imperative! Pray for one another. Last night, we prayed. God had placed all of us just where he wanted us -- at our computers -- when Rissa let go of her husband's hand and gave it to Jesus.

Is social networking worth my time? It was last night. No matter where we are and what we're doing, God knows just where to find us. When he commands us to pray, we pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, We lift up Rissa asking that you provide comfort in her sorrow. As she goes about the difficult tasks that must come this week, stay near to her. Allow her to feel her husband's love as he stands there with you, looking down at her from heaven.


JoAnne Bennett said...

I wasn't following Rissa until I noticed a tweet "Pray for my friend, she found her husband unconscious." That's when I began to read her sweet blog and could feel a young woman's immeasurable love not only for her husband & family, but her belief in Jesus Christ. I truly was sad for her to hear that James had passed away. I am praying that Rissa will not lose that beautiful, contagious I love life smile for too long as God helps her heal.

lynnmosher said...

Oh, dear! I missed all this last night. How heart wrenching! I am so saddened for sweet Rissa. I pray the Lord's presence will overwhelm her with compassion, peace, and comfort. Thank you for this post. Bless you!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I don't Twitter, but I'm on Facebook. We see prayer requests all the time. It's a call to stop, and support a brother or sister in Christ.

Having lost my Beloved two years ago, I understand Rissa's loss. May the Lord comfort her and her family.



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