There is something selfish and self centered about the internet. In a world where our voices have been silenced and our actions have been muted the internet is the only real megaphone anymore. We want our 10 minutes of fame; or ideas 'liked.' In doing that, we hope people notice us, not realizing we also need to notice others. Everyone has a blog. Anyone can post videos. Everyone hopes those ideas and thoughts are seen. And here I am. Everyone is talking so loudly, desperate to be heard for just one soundbite, just one sentence, that I feel like I am drowning in the sound. Meanwhile, in the real world I feel the silence is so deafening it swallows up my words. They are washed away before I can ever say them. The difference is so stark it is no wonder it is so difficult to translate the digital experience into a real relationship. None of us want to be the voice in the wilderness crying out. None of us want that attention. But, in the sea of voices our sound are only really heard if it means something, because otherwise it is only a drop of water that can be ignored in the massive ocean of sound. It is safer to speak when everyone else is speaking too. It is much more difficult to stand in truth when truth means standing alone in the field of silence.
My ears hurt as I hear the collective voice crying and screaming: I am alone. I need relationship. I want to be connected to something greater. They don't actually say those words. It is read between the lines. It is written between the smart comments on Facebook. It is seen behind the instagram photos. It flirts on any of the many match making sites out there. Meanwhile I cry back: I have learned where to find relationship. I have learned how to reconnect with others. But I fear the noise is too loud. I fear the answer I have found has been drowned. I fear it more and more as I realize the megaphones that once existed in the real world are broken or in major disrepair.
What do I do? How do I continue? My voice is meek. My voice is soft, and God calls me to use it? How do I speak over the Corporate sounds? They are the only ones with working megaphones anymore. How will anyone hear my voice? All the Whos down in Facebook are yelling "We are here! We are here!" and at the same time those pleas cannot break through the internet into reality... We need a "Yopp" to throw all those voices over the top and break through. And I am not sure if what I am yelling is "I am here," or if God might have given me the "Yopp."
This is what I want to say: I know how you feel. Before the internet I too desperately wanted to be heard even if the only note I was able to get out was, "I am here." I saw the world connecting and I wanted to be part of it, but I was damaged by life. I had to fix myself first. It is so fitting that my first solo was "Amazing Grace." It taught me God loves broken little me. I wanted to share that message with everyone else. Today, I still sing that song, but my words are more expansive and my tune is the cadence of the written word. Today I am no longer saying, "I am here." It has been replaced by, "God is here, and God hears you." Oh, if only my voice can rise above the flood to share that. How simple it is. How needed it is. Maybe that can be the bridge from the digital experience to the real relationship. Maybe now, before we all drown in the sea of words. Maybe now, when God's love can help us into the life boat.