Friday, July 17, 2009

Stopping by to Show Some Love! (but please don't get too close)

My Ladies group just started a new Bible study this week called "Loving Well", by Beth Moore. I love, love, love Beth - but I have to tell you....she makes me think about things I'd really rather not think about. Things I've pushed down for years, hidden away from the world and, to some extent, myself. Things that hurt to consider. But that's the point - to make us face our worst, so we can learn to live our best for Christ.

One thing that she talked about this week was the lack of real, meaningful relationships that we - especially ladies - have today. We're more plugged in than ever - IMs, cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter , blogging - but we're also more lonely than ever. We connect with thousands of people on the Internet, but never have real, deep relationships anymore. I know can I relate to that... Can you?

How often have you visited a real-life friend's MySpace or Facebook page and left a nifty little box or banner like the one above? "Stoppin' by to show some love!" - why don't we physically stop by to SEE them, in their home, and show some REAL love? Why don't we invite them to our home, or out for coffee or dinner - and show some REAL love?

I remember growing up and going with my grandparents to visit their friends, or having their friends come over and visit them. They didn't call first, they didn't have to. They didn't email back and forth to coordinate a "good time" for both parties - they didn't have the "luxury" of that technology. They just showed up on the doorstep, sat over a glass of tea or cup of coffee, and spent time together. Genuine, happy, good time. Why don't we do that anymore? Yes, we're busy - we're all busy. But how much busier must our grandparents have been - working all day without technology to help them, coming home to do chores, many working farms and other hard labor jobs --- yet they still found time to spend with family and friends. I think they knew something that we have all forgotten: real relationships - those are what really matters.

When I'm working in my garden, or pass a funny sign on the road, or one of the kids says or does something crazy - my first thought is not "I need to call _____ and tell them!" More often, it's "Oh wow, I need to blog, Tweet, Facebook" about that! Now, I can justify this by pointing out that it's easier to just post it out there for everyone, rather than calling up each person I want to share the news with and taking the time to tell each one individually. It's efficient, you see. I'm saving time - mine and theirs!

Speaking only for myself - the truth is that it's fear. Fear that I'll be interrupting my friend's life by taking up their time. Fear that people don't want to be bothered with my petty news. If I post it, or email it, or use some other form of technology to communicate - they can't reject me to my face. They can delete my email and I'll never know. They can read my FB or Tweet and move on about their day without a 2nd thought to my words. But I won't know that. I won't have the opportunity to be hurt by any form of implied rejection. I could go into all the reasons for this fear, but that's another post for another time.

I just wondered if I'm the only one of the millions of blogging women out there who feel this way? Do you use technology as a crutch to avoid real, meaningful relationships with other women? With your church family? With your family? Even with your kids or spouse?


Joan said...

I don't know. I've never been a phone person. When my kids were little they could be so quiet until I got on the phone. Then they needed my attention. As far as in person, I love seeing people. I confess I'm not as relaxed having people over as I once was. I've gone in one too many spotless, uncluttered homes now I have a complex. My husband says get over it but he doesn't understand for right or wrong the state of the house is a reflection on the wife.
I kinda got off subject. Meeting people for lunch or coffee is nice alternative!

Michelle said...

great post!

i've never been one to care for people just popping up at my house, mainly, because it stays a mess. but that is a whole other topic.....laziness on my part. heehee
but i have those same memories from my childhood. people just stopping by for a visit, us just showing up at someone's house. spending hours playing while the adults talked. not a care in the world. i think kids today are missing out on so much because their schedules are SO blame full. we know several families who have stuff, for the kids, every night of the week. sometimes more than one or two things scheduled, dance, ball, scouts, swimming, the list goes on and on. i remember coming home from school and playing outside until it was time to eat supper or it was too dark outside.

another thing i miss is handwritten letters. does anybody even do that anymore? or getting a card in the mail.

again, great post!