Last night I bore witness to an outpouring of love that I have rarely seen in the church. And the craziest part about it all was that it was all on Twitter. It didn’t necessarily begin that way, but that is where it fully blossomed. Last night I gathered with a large group of people in the home of a family who have been fighting a horrendous battle with cancer for quite some time now. We surrounded the family with prayer and celebrated communion together as a gesture of solidarity and love. But much to my surprise that was only the beginning. I got home about an hour or so later and jumped on Twitter (part of my nightly ritual) and was blown away. All of a sudden students involved in my ministry and students I have never even met had begun a community revolution.
There were countless prayers, encouraging posts, and more all being tweeted on behalf of this family. The local high school, where the oldest daughter attends, was even preparing itself to be awash with Pink the next day to honor the mother’s battle against Breast Cancer. And although their football game for Friday was scheduled to be a “Black Out” all of a sudden it became a “Pink Out”. The local news station even picked up on the phenomenon and aired a news story earlier this morning. And all because of Twitter.
Now I know that in the church we have a lot of discussion about effective ways of spreading the gospel and preaching Christ, but I am reminded of Paul’s writings in his letter to the Corinthian church, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (I Corinthians 13:1). Sometimes I know people have been discouraged by the use of Social Media and are worried about where it might lead. But last night I saw love in the language of my students revealed in one of the most amazing ways possible. Last night Twitter became more than a resounding gong. And it didn’t involve a sermon…it didn’t involve a Biblical exposition…it started with a 140 character limited post and it showed love from a community for a real family in a very real way. And we are all better for that.