Twitter, short quips of what people are thinking. If you are not careful who you follow, it can be a cesspool of some of the vilest utterances imaginable. If anything is happening or if I want to somewhat know what is going on, I look at my twitter feed and rest assured, there are dozens of people already talking about any event I am interested in.
Rolling Stone yesterday sent out a twitter about “Professional Cuddling” and how grown adults have to resort to hiring out a professional cuddler to cope with their difficult lives. If you would like to check out the tweet click here.
There are several problems that came to mind when I read this tweet and I will try to explain what they are:
Suffering is belittled. Jesus said we would have many troubles in this world. (John 16:33) Remember he said this as His people were occupied by the Romans. They were a conquered people and succumbed to all kinds of suffering. After the ascension of Jesus, the Christians faced some of the most physical sufferings imaginable. Having to hire out a cuddler because President Trump is crass and a bully downgrades the true trials and sufferings of other people. Also, as Christians our sufferings are different. We may be suffering because we are hated (John 15:18), grieving over sin (2 Corinthians 7:10), being disciplined by God (Hebrews 12:7-8), or just feeling the pangs of this world but we do all these things with hope.(I Thess. 4:13) We freely cling to God and His truths, not paid strangers.
This brings me to the sadness I felt reading this tweet. Regardless of how dainty I think the reason for their suffering is, these young adults are still feeling it. And it saddens me that they have to pay someone to listen and hug them. They are paying for physical displays of affection. Where are their mothers, their fathers, their friends, their church?
As Christians we should be the masters of comforting those who are suffering, regardless of how petty we believe the cause is. (I can’t even count how many times I held teenage girls as they sobbed because they couldn’t get the prom dress they wanted, they didn’t make the cheerleading squad, their friend is moving to varsity and she’s still in JV, the boy they like likes another girl, their cell phone was taken away, the list is endless!) What better time and place to hug, console, comfort and once they feel “safe” help them see a different Godly perspective? 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. This is why we are master comforters because we have been comforted by the only True Comforter.
This made me reflect on how I treat my fellow saint. Paul several times mentions greeting each other with a holy kiss (Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12). In Acts 20:37 we see a beautiful display of affection where they weep, kiss and hug each other as brothers in Christ as they say goodbye to Paul. Many times God describes his comfort to us as being under his wings, close to His heart, embraced by Him. (Psalm 91:4, Psalm 17:8, Psalm 36:7)
Also, let us love on the children in our church. There is an interesting paradox in our society. We commit constant idolatry when it comes to their wants, but we also hate them. In one hand we spend thousands a year getting them the stuff they don’t need, and on the other hand we are outright hateful when we are inconvenienced at restaurants, airplanes, movie theaters etc. by fussy children. (Matthew 19:13) We throw elaborate gender reveal parties, but are silent at the slaughter of babies in the womb. Saying this, we need to love the children of our church. We should encourage them, ask them questions about their day, hug them, play with them, and love on them . Let the church be a place where they know they are loved, not put up with. Let it not only be the nursery workers that interact with the next generation of American Christians.
My dear Christian, let us be comforters. Let us be nice and lovable. Let us truly mourn with and miss our brothers and rejoice when we see each other. If you do not feel that way about your church, let me encourage you to pick out one member of your church and make them miss you when you are not around and rejoice when they see you. Invite just one person to your home and listen to them. Seek out the elderly in your church and ask them about their day, ask them if anything is hurting them, I promise most have something to say. 😉 Buy some gum and hand them out to the kids. Baking for anyone for any reason is always a good idea. Always! Write a short note to your Pastor and let him know you are praying for him. Be sweet dear Christian. Be a comforting force, just as our God is!
May John 13:35 ring true of us that “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”