Word Soup took a break last week; class will resume this Thursday for another two weeks, and I am thankful for the pause, because Gregg and I caught a virus just before we left for Canada and I did not want to infect anyone else. This is a small problem - nothing compared to chronic or acute illness - but it reminds me of two things:
1) when I'm sick, I always, ALWAYS think of Katie, along with others who suffer from horrible illnesses and truly disgusting treatment regimens (and their cruel side effects). This reminds me that I have no reason to complain about something like a virus and
2) a pet peeve: I dislike reading "illness" posts on facebook. If a person is asking for prayers, by all means, post a request, but otherwise, I do not want to read the daily complaints about allergy symptoms, vomiting in the backseat of the car, what came out of your cat's nose, bum, ear, etc. A little filter is a blessing!
I am not unsympathetic to small or large suffering, but there is enough negativity online and in the media to sink most ships on any given day, and the broadcasting of our run-of-the-mill virus, sniffles and stomach flu "news" simply does not help to keep anyone's ship on an even keel. In my opinion, that's the purpose of a private journal.
"The Church, through the Chapter, has ensured that this Cathedral, an old Western Caliphate Mosque, and World Heritage Site, is not in a pile of ruins today. In fact, this has always been one of the missions of the Church, to safeguard and inspire culture and art.
"The visit to the Cathedral of Cordoba may awake the demand and the quest for a greater Beauty that will not wither with time. Because beauty, as truth and righteousness, are an antidote for pessimism, and an invitation to take pleasure in life, a shaking of the soul that provokes the longing for God."
Perhaps this relates to my instinctive recoil from dreary illness-posting and negativity-spewing on facebook. It is not a lack of interest in others' opinions and experiences, nor a lack of compassion for the small sufferings of our daily lives; it's a question of how much we spread the grit of our small annoyances. Spreading "beauty, truth and righteousness" lifts the spirit - our own, and those around us.
We all need safe sounding boards - places where we can share our deepest heartfelt feelings. In a public forum, however, it's important to think about what we are creating with our words and images, since we have the power of instant, far-reaching communication at our fingertips through the internet.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. - Phillippians 4:8, New Living Translation