Monday, October 12, 2015

When You're the Good Part of the Internet

Sometimes the online world scares me. I've cruised around enough Huffington Post articles and Buzzfeed lists and forums to know that bad things can happen behind the glowing screen of a computer. I understand how strangers' words and unkind thoughts can sting and settle into your soul leaving a deep aching hurt. Bad things do happen.

But I get itchy in my skin when I hear someone talk about the evil of the internet. I want to share all the "but this" and "but that" stories I've got tucked in the Love-for-the-Internet-People file of my soul. I want to tell them the internet hasn't made people bad; it's just one place bad people do their thing. It's like the one table at lunch time in elementary school or the girl's bathroom in high school or the water cooler in the office kitchen. Bad people will find a place to do bad.

It seems important to say: there's bad in everything. That's part of the brokenness. It's the brokenness that brings bad things down on good people. It's the brokenness that seems to overwhelm us in the middle of the night. It's the brokenness that is longing for healing and kindness, but vigilantly watching for the bad things.

I have seen the bad, but lately, I've been unabashedly overwhelmed by the good. I've written vulnerable, deeply sacred things here in this space with the hopes of community and I've got so much more. I've been encouraged here. And I've had the glorious opportunity to be an encourager -something I don't believe comes naturally for me. So, I've grown.

It's a balance, the good and the bad. A balance that's delicate and troublesome and can quickly feel impossible. It's a balance that seems to suck us under a tidal wave of bigger, badder forces. But you're choosing the good and that's kind of you. So kind of you, in fact, I wrote this whole post to say just one thing:

Thank you for being the good.

You have a choice to be bad, see bad, participate in bad. And yet, you don't. For that, I say thank you, thank you for being the good in the internet because it's days like September 30th where your words are a balm to my achy soul. You have rallied around my family, praying, emailing, just reminding us how thought of we are and, while I haven't said it much, thank you for pouring into our weary souls.

And so, it's our choice to be the kind, the good, to spread smiles from the edges of our keyboards.

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