Last week I wrote briefly about the confusion we create or at least cultivate regarding technology and human relationships. Technology isn't merely about the cool factor of an amazing product, it has the ability to enhance our relational experiences. Or not.
I asked in last week's article for feedback: Does social media and the technology that makes it possible really improve our relationships or does it distract? I'm about to make the first comment to my own question (I'm not bitter. Not very. A little. Maybe. No, I'm not.).
From my own personal experience over the last couple weeks, my family and I have been blown away by technology and the three little app icons pictured above.
Two weeks ago my lovely wife, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was news that thousands of women have heard about themselves, but we'd never heard it. It's a cancer that thousands of women have beaten, but this was our fight. It was a diagnosis with a very promising outlook, but the outcome was still in the future.
My bride is a raging extrovert. And she decided the more people praying, the better, So, she immediately began to let people near her know about her breast cancer. Then, with so many friends connected through Facebook, she posted an update there as well.
And the responses began rolling in.
We were amazed! She was shocked! People from far away, from distant past, people near us, with us... all began to respond with messages of prayers, kind words and offers to help any way possible. Laura received cards, phone calls, and emails. People stopped by. Friends texted, called and hugged constantly.
And a funny thing happened... or didn't happen. Neither my wife nor I felt like people cared less if they communicated through social media.
The comments on Facebook were as valid and filled with love as the cards that came via the postal service. Was it particularly special to have people visit personally at the hospital today? To seek us out at weekend services, our home or by phone? Yes - no doubt.
But do we share that same level of friendship with everyone? No. Can everyone make the drive and take the time to make such a visit? No.
However, did every word of encouragement encourage? Yes. Did every "like" bring a smile? Yes. Through the phone, the mail, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter - yes, yes, yes. Even now, the love continues to pour in.
By the way - in the event we're not Facebook friends or I didn't text or call you, here's the good news about my wife's surgery:
Laura's surgery was complete as of 2:15pm this afternoon. Her lymph nodes tested negative for cancer - YAY! And the cancerous mass was no larger than they suspected - more good news! So - full pathology report next week, which is when we'll know more about treatment. She'll definitely undergo radiation treatments.
God is good! Mysteriously good!
Thanks again to everyone who has reached out in any way! Your care and love mean so much!