I can’t say for certain if I’ve missed the personal bandwidth boat or simply stubbornly avoided it–nor can I say that I really get what a hash tag is for. What I can say is this: most days, my life is not utterly fabulous. But it is good. I work for a living, and I rarely take a day off. I try to be a caring daughter, sister, aunt and friend to the people I love most. I worship. I pray. I study and write and read. I volunteer. I walk the dog. I tend to what author Kathleen Norris has called “the quotidian mysteries”–a fancy way of saying I cook and clean and shop and keep house–all very ordinary but necessary things. I don’t do any of these things in the company of celebrities, or while wearing fabulous outfits. Not every day for me is a stellar hair day; I believe given a choice, barefoot is usually best.
Sometimes I visit places that might be considered “tweet-able,” and occasionally I do take pictures. But I’m as likely to come away with a close-up of a single drop of dew on a magnolia leaf or an odd hand made sign as I am to snap a lush landscape, a flattering selfie, or a famous landmark.
You might think I lead a boring life–but I’ve had secret joys no photo has yet to tease or tweet to trumpet. I see things. Hear things. Feel things. Ordinary, amazing things. In time I may talk or write about them. Or not. But I try to be fully present and live them first. I’m not bullet proof. I fall. Literally and figuratively. I mess things up, ask forgiveness, and if I can, try and make them right. I get hurt and cry real tears, just like you. But #uglycrybefore6am isn’t likely to be trending–nor is #
But know this: every person you see today leads a life that is in some way exceptional. Whether they’ve tweeted it or not, everyone has a story. It may be tragic or comic, epic or ordinary, challenging or comfort-filled. Don’t assume just because they haven’t advertised they have nothing of value to say. Instead of promoting your own prettied-up narrative or perusing those of a dozen dazzling others, try this: turn to someone near you, look them in the eye, and say something like this: “Tell me about your day. And not just the pretty parts. I really want to know.”
Then tell me. Because I want to know, too. And because I’m certain there is much, much more to us than meets the naked app.
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, (Psalm 139:1-5)