We had a brief sunny day yesterday, however the clouds and rain and grey have greeted us again this morning. This has been a bit unusual for our area…more grey than we are used to, and people are feeling the impact. After living for 7 years up in Lynden, Washington and Vancouver, BC it feels comfortable to me. I even like the mornings like this..the quiet and the still. The sunshine makes me want to run out and start doing things; the rain and the overcast skies helps me be still and quiet for a bit.
This is my 100th post on this blog…which seems rather amazing. I’m thankful for a place to think out loud, and a place where I find that others are thinking or struggling or rejoicing with the same things.
We need that connection, and the world of the internet has opened up so many more resources for us to connect. I am amazed by how my kids already connect with people through games and other venues on the internet. Obviously there can be great pitfalls and dangers…but there can be such great moments when we find something that triggers a deeper thought or triggers a connection.
Still…there is a huge gap when we relate through the internet. When we place our significance in our associations made through quick comments. When we determine if we are funny enough or smart enough or thoughtful enough to warrant a ‘like’ or a ‘favorite’. I worry some about my kids and how they will navigate this new venue of peer pressure and standards. Will they think only in terms of fast and short encounters, or will they develop the ability to think well and to follow a discussion through logically and with tenderness and patience? Of course, my goal is to provide the foundation for that thinking. For that encounter.
I posted awhile back a few links to a discussion TED radio hour about the impact of the internet and computers on personal interactions. There were two that deeply grabbed my attention…one a woman who watched as her colleagues rejoiced as an elderly nursing home patient ‘connected’ with a robotic seal. They were thrilled that finally this woman had found something she could pour her heart out to about the loss of a child. The woman was suddenly aware of the impact as this group of people passed off their responsibility to connect with another human…to a robotic seal. And they thought through all the possibilities of passing this seal on to all those lonely people out there…with no awareness that those people longed for a human touch, not yet another way to be isolated.
The other speaker who demanded my attention was a doctor who spoke about the human touch. He spoke of all the wonderful advances that medicine had seen through computers and technoloty…qll testing and information that could now be gathered. And yet, he noted that the one thing that computers and technology will never be able to replicate or replace is human touch. Not only because the doctor is able to feel things intuitively through his touch, but because that human touch means so much to the patient.
Through the wonders of technology I was met with a short video this morning. Through Facebook a friend suggested I watch this video as we move through the experience of caring for my mother in her dementia. I have seen first hand how she responds to the touch of my father…how when she is fearful at night she responds to her hand being held, to the touch of another. I have also seen the shells of people as they are in nursing homes who have been left in the corner and have no interaction. I am not placing blame…it is so difficult to see a loved one deteriorate…and yet, to be like the woman in this video. To be this compassionate and this patient…and this aware of the needs of those around us. Not just when they reach this point of utter isolation, but to be aware as we move through our day…to physically and spiritually touch the people around us in a way that brings healing and brings compassion.
To be Jesus to those around us. That sounds trite or cliche…but watch this video and I think you will agree with me that this is the heart of a savior who embraced us in our ugliness and our sin and our brokenness…who reached out and took on our humanity in order to touch us and awaken us to the knowledge that we are cared for and we are loved…and we matter and we are not alone. To be like this woman….would be to be much like Jesus, and that would be a very worthy goal: