Every morning when I check my e-mail, there are a lot of “forwards.” Some are cute and make me chuckle. Some are sweet, leaving me with that “aaaawwwwwww” feeling. Others are worthless, ending up in the cyber-trash container.
My absolute pet peeve of all times are those e-mails that say something like, “if you don’t forward this to thirteen friends in the next hour, something bad will happen….” Or worse, those Christian messages that tack on something like this: “if you really love Jesus, you’ll forward this to all the friends in your mailbox — otherwise how can you possibly call yourself a Christian?”
One friend of mine who isn’t a Christian recently complained about how much she disliked all those forwarded messages from her Christian friends. “It’s like they’re force-feeding me all that Christian stuff.” (She used another word which I won’t repeat here…) She never bothered to open those messages, calling them “foolishness.”
The truth is, the message contained in most of those Christian “forwards” is NOT foolishness. But maybe our message transmittal methods are.
When I asked my friend why she disliked those messages, she told me this story. The week after her mother died, she opened up her e-mail files to find all sorts of forwards about heaven from well-meaning Christian friends. “Most of them didn’t know my mom.” she said, ” Or they would have known she didn’t end up in heaven. I felt so bad, looking at those messages, I just shut the computer off and walked away. Why did my so-called friends have to attack me like that?”
But that wasn’t the worst of it. She said none of those well-meaning friends who sent the forwards bothered to call to see how she was or to visit her when she needed them the most for a physical hug or a listening ear, even though they lived right in the same town.
Perhaps their zeal to see her in heaven could have been rewarded and not rejected by spending a little personal time with her instead of an impersonal zippy, quicky e-mail forward message.
Lord, remind me to be your hands and feet today – and not just your e-mail preacher. Amen.