We had a bit of technical difficulty last week. I hope no one exhausted themselves trying to figure out what “Zzz fggggh” meant, because that’s all I could get the site to publish. Anyway…
Many of you who know me well already know this story. In 2004, I worked as a Summer camp counselor in upstate New York. It was also the year that actress Gwenyth Paltrow had her first child, whom she named “Apple”.
Reading about it in a Tabloid we’d picked up in town, another counselor and I laughed and made jokes about the name.
Suddenly a 10-year-old girl stood up, crying, and said, “why are you making fun of my aunt? She’s such a nice person!”
It wasn’t a joke. Out of the 7 Billion people on Earth, one of the 30 campers in the room happened to be the young niece of Paltrow. And we made her cry.
We felt like absolute dirt. Never in a million years did it occur to us that commenting on a magazine could impact someone in the room.
Space does not affect morality. Neither does anonymity. The Bible says that “What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs” (Luke 12:3). Every time you see a candid photo of a hilariously-badly-dressed person in some anonymous internet pic, and add your funny/mean comments, there really is someone, somewhere being shamed. Every time you express an opinion about someone in the comments section of a website, even if it’s a famous person, you’re still passing judgement. And if every word whispered in secret is weighed by God, how much more the words that are written for thousands to see! “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:25-27, 29-32)
God bless y’all, and have a good weekend.