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Cheryl Hughes: META or MEDDLE

Did you know there is a YouTube video on how to give a kitten an enema?  There is and it works.  I’m still taking care of the motherless kittens I told you about in my last column.  Social media really has an upside in times like these.  When it’s good, it’s really good, but when it’s bad…well, you know the rest.


               Garey is not a fan of social media.  He likes news headlines, but that’s as far as he’s willing to dip his toe into the world that includes Mark Zuckerberg’s holdings, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

  I am on Facebook and its Messenger app.  Almost all my friends there post positive messages and pictures of their families or their flowers or their animals.  If someone needs something or some help, you will know about it pretty quickly.  It’s also a place where people air their grievances, and that can get heavy at times.  Garey says everybody’s business is nobody’s business, and when he saw that Zuckerberg was going to name his conglomerate of apps META, Garey said he should name it MEDDLE, because that’s all those apps do—meddle in other people’s business.

When Garey says something negative about Facebook, I usually just ignore it, probably because I had never suffered the negative effects of the app.  Recently, that changed.  I have a religiously zealous in-law who thought I needed set straight.  Usually, he sends me stuff on Messenger about how the election was stolen or about how the government is keeping the cure for Covid away from the American people, that kind of stuff.  I just read it and think, “Well, this is America, and we are all entitled to our opinions,” then move on to pictures my gay niece sends me of her adopted son.

A few weeks ago, however, he decided to kick things up a notch and make it personal.  He sent me a message that read (and this is verbatim, caps, exclamation points and all):

If your “Jesus” doesn’t care if you drink a little, cuss a little, or shack up etc.

YOU GOT THE WRONG JESUS!!!  Jesus Christ came to set you free from sin not free to sin!

When I got the message, I thought it was unusual, even for him, then I got the accompanying photo.  It was a picture someone tagged me in and sent to my Facebook page.  In the picture, there was a beer on the table.  All was becoming clear.

This little jab bothered me for about 15 seconds—I’m pretty secure in my relationship with God.  I started to text back, “Didn’t know God had an ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms).  When did he put you in charge?”  I even thought about sending him the link to the YouTube video on how to give a kitten an enema—it’s pretty graphic—but instead, I decided not to respond that way.  I came up with a better plan.

I decided to use the “Burning Coals” response Paul talks about in Romans 12: “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

 I’m putting together a box of goodies that includes honey and some homemade jelly—I might even throw in some sweet potatoes.  I will enclose a Happy Thanksgiving card.  He lives in another state, so I will have to pay to mail it, but that’s okay.

We sang a song at church today that I have always loved.  The words are by Frederick William Faber (1814 – 1863). It’s called, “There’s A Wideness In God’s Mercy.”  My favorite verse says: “For the love of God is broader than the measures of the mind.  And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.  But, we make his love too narrow, by false limits of our own, And we magnify his strictness with a zeal he will not own.”  That is the God I know and love.

I will continue to focus on the “good meddling” on Facebook.  I love the pictures of Donna Wilson’s flowers, Ricky Lockhart’s roses, C.J. Martin’s animals and the extra positive good morning posts of Debbie Mars.  There’s good to be found, and I plan on meddling till I find it.


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