Scrolling through the “Top Stories” on Facebook the other night, a photo flashed like neon among the rest . It was a graphic picture of a 12-year-old boy in a hospital bed, hooked to machines, face bloody, bruised and swollen.
The writing underneath explained that this child was a nephew who had just been in an accident and was suffering from a fractured skull (among other things), and they weren’t sure if he was going to live. They were asking for “likes” and “shares” on the picture to forward to his family showing massive worldwide support.
Facebook has become the quickest and most efficient route to raising awareness for such tragedies, and I am a firm believer in the power of collective positive energy.
But, for some reason, my mouse hovered over the icon for several minutes while I froze, fixated.
“What is wrong with me?” I said aloud to an empty room.
Tens of thousands of other Facebook users had no problem “liking” this picture as a symbolic gesture of their well wishes. It’s a new-age prayer chain. Isn’t it inspiring to see masses of people ban together at cyber-speed for the sake of a stranger?
But, I still couldn’t bring myself to click.
“I do NOT like this.”
Was it simply a problem with linguistics?
I don’t like anything about a picture of a battered and broken baby boy (who disturbingly resembles a slightly older version of my own baby), or any second of the nightmare in which his family is currently living.
After what felt like an hour, I closed my laptop.
I confess to you that I did not click.
I did however, drop my knees to the dusty hardwood floor of my bedroom, fiercely praying the only way I know how. Not for a miraculous recovery; in my experience the outcome is often out of our hands. But for strength, love and support for this precious child and all those who love him.
So, while I did not throw my Facebook name into the sea of 86,561 “likers” to send support to this family I’ve never met (but for whom I’ve cried 15 times before noon today), be assured that it was sent, express delivered.
The old-fashioned way.