Sometimes, I feel like I’m on the outside looking in on the digital age. It is increasingly evident to me that by limiting social media, I have withdrawn from the world of constant communication, a world of fingertips and LED screens and silly photos. I don’t wish to criticize; I understand the many benefits of the iWorld, but I also know, and have always known, that this constant ringing in my ears, buzzing in my pocket, alerting in my brain, renders me unable to listen. There are many who are able to negotiate listening to the world around them and the iWorld. But I know myself, and I know that I am not. And because I have to choose one or the other, I would rather listen.
I would rather listen to the light that dances through the leaves of trees and sparkles in seven different shades of green as I look up from my perch on a bench. Because more than anything, I want a say in who I become. I don’t want to love something because the people around me love it, or because it’s trending. I would rather explore the complexities of a song than sing along to words I can’t proclaim honestly. I want a say in who I become, in what I love and what fascinates me and what hurts. I don’t want to be a socialized product; I want to be a person, and not just person enough to know I’m being turned into a product, but a bona fide human being who loves and experiences grace and hopes in the face of despair and worships and forgives.
If I could just remember that my fears are stilled when I just take the time to be, to mute the many voices and hear the whisper that speaks through everything. If only I could remember that. Then I would be well, and I would pray, and I would live by faith, and I would know that the cure to my loneliness and terror could never be an upshot of seratonin but could only ever possibly be something much deeper, something fresher and more alive than the shooting neurons in my brain, something dearer to me than my own life.
Lord, please help me to always remember that, in the face of difficult and uncertainty and despair. Please remind me of yourself. Please teach me how to live by faith and how not to fear. Please teach me to see my days through the certain eyes of faith that light up the darkness and the unknown. Please help me to see you in everything, like I do once in a while, briefly. Help me to love you instead of religion. Help me to love you instead of judging other people all the time. Help me to be gentle and humble in heart. Teach me when to speak and when to listen. Sometimes nowadays, I feel like I listen too much, but maybe one could never listen too much – maybe it’s just my anxiety telling me that people feel awkward because I’m not filling the silence, and it seems so enveloping.
But maybe the silence is the place where whispers have definition. You can’t hear a whisper in the midst of small talk.
Help me to love you through the ache of awareness, that painful awareness of things. Help me to love you more because of the painful awareness. Let me cling to you and not to belief. Let me be a consolation; let me be like Jesus.