ESV: Daily Reading Bible

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It occurred to me while I was updating my Twitter/Facebook status, that there was a similar feeling in it to those short zinger-prayers. Different audience (unless you have God as one of your Twitter followers or Facebook friends, I suppose), similar motivations perhaps. Consider, for instance, these "orphan tweets". They were singular signals that shot out into the dark void. Why were they written? What moved the authors to post anything in the first place? With the increasing ease via SMS and various apps, many of us feel compelled to share more of our struggles, joys and hopes with that virtual cloud of witnesses. The technology is tapping into a natural, yet often stifled human desire to relate, on a regular basis, with our community of friends. One of the interesting corollaries has been the follow on desire of friends to empathize, or "like" certain things that are shared. We desire to share and be heard. We also desire to hear and to relate. Aristotle reasoned that the purpose of art is mimesis, or in other words, representation of something abstract in art in order to communicate it between people. T.S. Eliot reasoned, similarly, that good art required a good objective correlative, or in other words, something which aptly represented the abstract thing. Now plenty of aestheticians and critics would insist that art is good by itself, that it doesn't need (or must not need) a person at either end. While I would agree with this to a certain extent (may explain it more in a future post), I think the highest and best use of art is to bless the ties that bind human community together and humans with their Maker. So lets say that I have this feeling inside, call it "Joy". I want to share this Joy with my Facebook friends (via Twitter of course, over SMS because I prefer it to mobile web). Let's say that the Joy is, in part, catalyzed by hearing my kids say something incredibly profound and wonderful. I could make an abstract statement - "I am joyful". Or, I could share the quote and let it speak for iteself. And perhaps the quote would be the perfect conduit of the feeling inside of me to my cloud of witnesses, and perhaps they would have the same joy from reading the quote, and perhaps they would let me know by clicking "like". What do I desire in prayer? I desire for God to click that "like" button in so many ways. I desire to be heard, to have him relate. I find it interesting that some churches are now encouraging worshippers to tweet during church. While you may feel immediately critical of this postmodern intrusion into our form of worship, consider (I’m not really taking sides, just raising a point) how the Wailing Wall is used almost like an old interface formaking short shout outs to God. In this case, of course, the status updates/supplications aren't meant for our community, but only for God.

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