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We live in an age where reaching out to someone consists of texting, or tweeting, or chatting online. We have "friends" from all over the world we have never met. This is not a problem, it is simply something we should reflect upon.
Reaching out to someone in need used to mean that one person physically went to the aid of another. Often that aid was given face-to-face but sometimes it only meant physically doing something to help the other person. For instance, there are churches reaching out to their communities by collecting food and clothing to later be distributed to those in need. The people in the church do not go to the shelters where the food/clothes are distributed; but they do physically bring the donations to the church, thereby, reaching out to others in the community.
With our new technologies, actual hands reaching out to each other seldom happens. We are names, sometimes with faces, often with avatars that represent our alter egos. We still give aid to others, but it is done with a click of the button, a few carefully chosen words typed into a blank screen. Arguably, these are physical actions, but they do not give the soul the same satisfaction, the same grace as getting up from the comfort of our own spaces to use hands and feet in order to reach out to another.
If we consider for a moment, the quote, "Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another into the light," what would the image be that comes to mind? For me, it conjure images of people who, literally, reach out and touch someone.
Image by legends2k via Flickr
The challenge, as I see it, is to take what
technology can bring us, use it with diligence and remember to stay connected to the physical world. There is nothing worse than hearing about families who text each other while they are in the same house, worse yet, the same room!
During this season of Light, Love and Peace, I ask that you put done your gadgets, step away from the computer and wrap your arms around someone you love. Find a place where you both can reach out in brotherhood with others, remembering that while we are reaching out to someone, they are also reaching out to you! The grace flows both ways.