Sunday, September 04, 2011


I love Facebook. Facebook is a place where I have reconnected with friends from as early as elementary school. It is a place where I can glean creative ideas from pastors who are doing great stuff in their churches. It is a place where I can communicate with friends and church members. It is a place that enables me to feel connected.

While Facebook does not offer a full glimpse into our lives, Facebook does provide many details.

Earlier this week I got a text from my niece asking me if my mother (her grandmother) had my Facebook password. Rather than saying, "No," and leaving it at that, I decided to pass on my exact thoughts about pictures that had recently been posted on her profile. I shared with my niece hurtful words and let her know that I was horrified by how she appeared in some of the pictures. It was five minutes later when I realized that my niece had defriended me on Facebook.

While I have chosen to defriend other people, I don't like the feeling of being defriended. I don't like the feeling of being cut off from someone's life. Her choice of defriending me has caused me a lot of pain and also caused me to do a lot of reflection this week.

My niece chose to defriend me rather than take the risk that I might allow other people to see the pictures that were posted on Facebook. She chose to remove not only my access to her profile but the access of other family members, as well.

I wonder if her response is the exact way we interact with God sometimes.

We pretend that God cannot see everything. We pretend that there are places of our minds, our hearts, and our lives that God cannot reach. We pretend that what we do in the dark stays in the dark or that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." We like to pretend that there are some parts of our lives that God will never see.

But the Psalmist describes a very different God. In Psalm 139 we are told that there is not a single place where we can go and not encounter God.

Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.

No matter where we are, God is with us.

God sees everything and loves us in spite of it all.

We cannot hide from God.

We cannot limit God's access to our lives.

We can turn our backs, but God still comes to us.

What would it mean for us to live our lives as though God was watching everything? What would we do differently if we really believed that God could always see us?

I regularly joke that there are some days that I would prefer Jesus to return on compared to other days. There are definitely moments when I have my discipleship on - like having my makeup on - and definitely days when I do not have my discipleship on. There are parts of my life that I want God to see and other parts of my life that I don't want God to see. While I am striving for perfection like a good Methodist, I have a long way to go before I reach perfection.

Why do I think I can hide the less than glowing parts of my life from God? Do I really believe it is possible to limit God's access to each pocket of my life?

The Psalmist ends Psalm 139 with these words:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
See if there is any wicked way in my,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Amen, and amen.

1 comment:

Nancy from DC said...

These are words of wisdom, but I'm always struck by how the Psalmist uses the beginning and end of Psalm 139 to bracket the middle part:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

We needn't think we could/should defriend God, She was already there when our profiles were being keyed.