The words and images in today’s devotion come from a popular app called “Whisper”. Whisper is a social networking site where people can anonymously post whatever they want.
There’s plenty of flirting, goofing around, rough language, and immaturity (so be forewarned), but the site seems to actually serve a purpose, too:
This is where people post their real struggles, pains, fears, and confessions. Things they might not even tell their closest friends.
People write their whisper, and the program automatically chooses a picture background based on the words. (Sometimes the picture fits better than others)
Here are some of the posts I found that come from within a half-hour radius of my church, but be forewarned — it may hurt your heart to read them.
Wow. These are things we don’t generally mention during Joys and Concerns, right?
Just knowing that these people live and work within range of my own church makes me ache to reach out to them. And then it occurs to me: Who’s to say these people, or people like them, aren’t already a part of my congregation?
The truth is, everybody has pain, and secrets, and plenty of material for “whispers”.
We don’t give voice to our whispers because we’re ashamed of them, or because people wouldn’t understand, or because we don’t want to appear weak, or because we aren’t ready to change.
Maybe we don’t speak our whispers out loud because we’d feel too vulnerable.
So what can we do with our secrets, our fears, and our shames?
Well, that’s why we have covenant groups, and accountability groups, and support groups in the church. They are places of high trust designed for sharing the deeper stuff.
And there are counselors and therapists and pastors who are willing to listen and help.
And of course, there’s prayer.
Whether they were intended as such or not, I consider posts on Whisper to be prayers. Surely God hears them.
God hears your prayers, too.
As for Whisper, I think it may provide a place for ministry in the 21st century. People can actually reply to a person’s whisper, so I’ve responded to a few, offering some encouragement and comfort.
And there are people out there who offer Good News in their whispers.
For every dozen desperate secrets tossed out into cyber space, you’ll find something like this in with the mix:
May you find a place, online or off, where you can whisper.
Have a great week,