I don't know what to say here tonight.
The world is so much bigger than my four little walls. Yet, these four walls are what I know. They are my experience, my life, so writing about them is natural to me. But the world is so much bigger than that. So why would you, sitting inside your four walls, want to hear about mine?
Brian and I have been talking lately about the role of media in our family. We saw a family at dinner the other night - the three preteenish children were on ipods? iphones? something handheld, the father (presumably) was on his cell phone, and the mother (presumably) was staring into space, looking bored. What's the point? Brian asked. Why spend the money going out to dinner if nobody talks to one another? Social media (isn't it all social media?) serves an important function, in that it connects us to one another. My friends and I plan playgroups through facebook, blogs remind me I'm not the only one surrounded by four walls every day, and through email I have ongoing conversations with friends across the country. But when our tools for connecting to one another create a false reality - when I begin to relate more easily and more eagerly to the people inside the box than the people in my living room, or neighborhood - there's a problem. I don't think that has happened in our home, but talking through it has reminded me how important it is to be mindful of where I put my energy. Moderation in all things, right?
I have also been thinking a lot lately about our responsibility as believers in caring for orphans. There's a local organization preparing to bring Haitian orphans to our area, and I have been following their story as they get ready (incidentally, this is a well-established, reputable organization that has served orphans internationally for 24 years. They are going through appropriate legal Haitian and American channels to serve children who were orphaned previous to the earthquake until either a permanent home can be found for them, or until their orphanage is equipped to serve them again in Haiti. This is not some crackpot stealing children and believing themselves righteous for doing so). I'm also following Missy's story, and Adrienne's. I recently read a narrative of the experience of growing up in multiple foster homes, and never forming an attachment to anyone. Friends, it took me days to recover - but I don't really want to recover. That is someone's reality. I am lucky enough to know nothing about that life firsthand, so I have the privilege of choosing how much I want to know. But it is happening - not just in Haiti, but in my city and in yours - all the time. I'm more aware of the need to respond every day.
Orphans and social media. I guess I do know what to say here tonight after all.