Jesus Needs New PR

Jessica spoke with Sara’s sister, Laura, this morning. Sara’s resting well, only feeling a small portion of the pain she’s endured for so many years.

When awake, she listens to members of her family read the messages that people from all over the world are leaving on Twitter, Facebook, and at her blog. The meds keep her from expressing completely what she’s feeling inside, but she often shakes her head in amazement or smiles. When open, her eyes glisten with joy.

Social media helped make that happen.

When Jessica spoke with Sara on Wednesday, she said, “Jess, God has given me so many little blessings this month. I got to hug you. I got to play on this bed with Elias. I got to hold little Adeline while she slept….

And last week I got to see the ocean.”

Sara writes for (in)courage, a community of writers that Dayspring started a couple years ago. At their retreat in Hilton Head last week, the (in)courage writers Skyped with Sara and at one point they took the computer outside and lifted it up toward the Atlantic, and Sara saw the ocean.

“So many blessings, Jess,” she said. “Don’t be sad.”

Social media made that possible.

For three years, Sara’s window to the outside world has been a computer screen and an iPad. From the confines of a 900-square foot apartment in Iowa, she reached out into the blogosphere and found people to love, to cry with, to share joy with, to experience life with… those small windows not only gave her a view of the outside world, they opened up and let the outside world in so we could share, love, cry, and experience life with Sara.

We’ve shared birthdays with Sara. Christmases with Sara. Vacations with Sara. Our joys and successes with Sara. And our broken moments with Sara.

Social media allowed us to do that.

The night before Elias turned two, Jessica was in the kitchen making an Elmo cake. The phone rang. It was Sara. She was hysterical, crying uncontrollably. “Sara, what’s wrong?” I shouted.

“Matthew, my father died.”

“Oh Sara. I am. So sorry.”

And we mourned with Sara. People from all over the world mourned with Sara. On Twitter. On Facebook. At her blog. We mourned. We prayed. When she was alone and hurting, we were there.

Our friend Alece packed a bag, traveled to Iowa, and stayed with Sara for a week or so.

Social media made that happen.

After reading to Sara the message from Amy Grant, Laura emailed me. Sara’s face lit up hearing Amy’s words. Her exact quote was, “Shut up!!! How did that happen?” And then she went on to say that she’d actually written Amy a fan letter when she was 13.

Facebook helped make that possible…

Toward the end of that long (not long enough) conversation with Sara, Jessica asked Sara, “Can I do anything? Do you need anything? Is there anything I can do to help your family with the funeral?”

“Jess, are you coming to my funeral?”

“I am.”

Sara cried.
Jessica cried.
Both sobbed.
And sobbed.

Social media helped make that possible.

This moment right here--this brilliantly cute expressive moment--wouldn't have been possible without social media.

We complain about social media a lot. We say it’s only about marketing something or someone. We say it’s a waste of time or that it’s fake. And all of that and more is probably true on numerous occasions.

But for Sara, it is a lifeline, perhaps God’s hands, albeit his digital hands, reaching out to her… and now, as Sara rests, waiting to see what mysteries she’ll discover on the other side, those hands–the thoughts and prayers of people from all over the world–are holding Sara, letting her know how much she is loved.


If you’ve written a post about Sara, please link it up HERE. Sara’s family is using this linky-up to read through all the kind posts that have been written. Thank you.

Thank God for Sara (a social media story) is a post from: Jesus Needs New PR

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