Editor's note: Brenda Finkle (@brendafinkle) recounts an experience that gave her a glimpse of exactly how powerful so-called random tweets could be in someone else's life. We'd love to know about similar experiences you may have had. Please add them via the comments or consider sending a longer post to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re living and participating in a new virtual world. Ever wonder how many people actually read what you launch into cyberspace? Ever wonder, “is anyone actually reading what I tweet?” I do!
Sometimes I’ll get responses to my tweets but mostly it’s me ─ tweeting random thoughts, hopes, questions. Sometimes there are long stretches of silence because I have nothing to add to the never-ending Twitterstream of thought. But, always intertwined throughout my tweets are verses of scripture and prayer via The Virtual Abbey.
Flash back a year: I was sitting in a meeting talking about advertising with a sales rep and toward the end of the conversation, mentioned social media. What was their company's vision for using social media? Our conversation continued, then the sales rep got very quiet and told me the most amazing story.
As a child, the sales rep was read passages from scripture every day by a faithful mother. The story stopped as tears gathered in the eyes of the young adult in my office who glanced up and held my gaze. Now the only scripture encountered came from the Virtual Abbey through my Twitter feed. Those re-tweets, I was told, recalled memories of quiet, deeply personal times.
Humbled. Happy. Blessed. These are just some of the emotions I felt while listening to what had been, after all, a casual business acquaintance.
The power of 140 characters. The power of God working through us to reach people where they are to meet their needs, to touch them with love, to offer hope where sometimes there is none. That afternoon’s experience taught me to trust the power of sharing the Daily Office via social media.
Image: Madonna with the Child Reading, Jan Van Eyck (15th c.)