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loose ends.

8 Oct

Around the time I gave up Facebook, things got a little crazy.  That’s not what this is about.  What this is about is typing up the loose ends.  There are a few subjects that I wrote about the week of and then never followed up on.  So, without further adieu…

Quitting Facebook: I thought that quitting Facebook would be difficult.  Not because I’m hooked on technology, but because I’m all about people and Facebook is a way of keeping up with said people.  I’m probably the only person that actually looks at all of the pictures from your trip to Spain last month.  I want to know what’s going on in your life and unlike the majority of Facebook-ers who are passively perusing your Facebook pages because it’s easier than verbal communication, for me it’s just more fuel for the face-to-face conversations.  So what I missed, if I missed anything, was knowing the little details people put up on their Facebooks.  But when it was all said and done– I didn’t miss it.

Sex Offender: Following writing a letter to a registered sex offender (here and here and here), I wanted more.  I contacted OASIS, the organization that I originally spoke to about sexual assault.  They have a 24-hour crisis line that they use volunteers for.  Anyone can call in– victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, children, people with questions, friend and family of people affected by any of these issues… etc.  OASIS was having a weekend-long session, teaching people about sexual assault and domestic violence and how to effectively handle situations that deal with both.

It was HEAVY.

Something that still weighs on my heart is the lack of support out there for people that struggle with those urges/act on them.  There are resources, websites, shelters, support groups…  all available for the victims/survivors.  But for those people that struggle with those thoughts and those urges and who eventually act on them and even for the people that don’t act on them…  there’s nothing.  There’s NOTHING.

That bothers me.

We have books for people that are bad with money or who covet it.  Therapists for people who don’t love themselves/make themselves throw up/don’t let themselves eat/cut their arms with razors.  Substance abuse problems?– there are programs specifically for you.  Into porn?– that one’s a popular outreach these days.  Prone to punching your wife?  Into the thrill you feel when she says no?…  sorry.  Nothing we can do.

That bothers me.

Why do Christians pick and choose who deserves our love?  our help?  our forgiveness?  our Lord?

(More on this later, maybe.)

Death Row: I wrote a letter to a woman on death row.  It was different from the letter I wrote to a registered sex offender, because there was no hiding the fact that I knew what she had done.  She knew why I was writing her.  I was writing her a letter in prison, after all.  It was also different, in that it wasn’t anonymous.  Part of the reason my letter to the sex offender was anonymous were for the obvious precautionary reasons.  But more than that, I didn’t want it to be a source of anything but encouragement.  I didn’t know what this particular person’s hangups were, what they struggle with, what a letter of encouragement from a woman [their age that they could easily see a picture of on Facebook] would do.  I wanted this letter to be different.  I wanted to be a name; to be a specific person that cares about this particular woman.

I wrote a letter to a woman that I was able to Google and, with a few clicks, learn the details of her story.  Convicted of a crime she committed when she was too young to drink, this woman succumbed to the pressures of finding something to belong to and killed two people in a gang-initiation.  My heart broke for her because I can relate to those feelings.  Oh, can I relate to those feelings.  I can understand that pressure.  I can understand wanting to belong.

Fear often drives us to act out of desperation.*

I haven’t heard back from her yet.  I don’t know if I will.  I think I may, but it’s already been several weeks.  Even if I don’t, the letter I wrote her could not have been much more divinely-inspired than it was.  I don’t need a response to know that it contained the words God wanted  her to hear.

*It’s an easy response to say that a lot of trouble would be saved if we would just find ourselves in God.  Sometimes** the easy responses are the correct responses.

**More on how most responses come too easily for me later.

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facebook.

16 Aug

Number 24 on the list:  Go TV free for a year. Or turn your TV into a pot where flowers grow.

If you personally know me, you most likely know that I don’t own a TV.  I deliberately don’t own a TV, because I want to focus on things that matter, like relationships with individuals, myself, and God.  When I sit in front of the television for any period of time, my mind shuts down.  (Isn’t that the point?)  For these reasons, I could very easily do number 24 on the list.

Confession:  God does not want us to live an easy life.  (See: “Confession“)

I am the type of person that greatly values communicating.  I write long e-mails, Skype my friends in near and far away lands, call just to say hey.  I THRIVE on my relationships with other people.  As such, social networking tools have become my friend.  Gmail has become my most visited link.  I recently joined Twitter because my friend told me it was right up my alley.  I’ve become very reachable and have enjoyed reaching.

So.

I’m getting rid of the internet for the next month.  Since number 24 was mostly a useless check off the list, I tried to think of a good alternative to going TV free.  I came up with giving up the internet for a month.  How many mindless hours have I spent on the internet, wasting time?  (I’m not answering that.)  The internet is something that has become a part of our lives.

I can’t entirely give up the internet; I need it for work.  And, though I’ve done a lot of research in preparation for my month hiatus, there may be an occasion or two where I need the internet in order to figure out how to best act on something that is on the list.  Like I said before, my goal has never been to “complete” the list in its entirety, word for word.  My goal was to take part in a passion-inducing, comfort zone stretching, heart-breaking, love-flowing, getting back to the basics challenge.

I can’t entirely give up the internet.  But I can mostly give it up.  I can remove my wireless card for my laptop at home, rendering it useless.  I can deactivate my Facebook.  I can get ridiculously behind on my Google Reader reading materials.  So since I can…  I’m going to.

Starting Wednesday, August 18th, you’ll have to call me to talk to me.

(What?!)

I’ll say it again:  Starting August 18th you will have to CALL me to TALK to me.

(What?!)