Today is my anniversarissy. That’s not a typo. “Anniversarissy” is the word formed by combining “anniversary” and “Missy” (my legal first name), and it’s the word my then-boyfriend-now-husband invented to celebrate the day when we first began dating. It happened on August 23, 1990, and we haven’t fallen apart yet.
In celebration of this, our 28th anniversarissy, I posted a message to Facebook about it. I wrote much of the same things I just shared, along with a photo taken just a few years after that fateful day. I don’t have a photo of us on August 23, 1990, since that was long before the days of cell phones and the ubiquitous selfie.
Why did I post it? That’s an interesting question. At one level, it’s a simple opportunity to embarrass the heck out of my children upon sight of their much younger, much thinner, much less gray parents. At another better level, though, it’s a chance to witness—yes, witness—to the blessing of this relationship publicly and maybe inspire others that indeed a long happy marriage between two very human partners is actually possible.
To witness is to see an event take place. To bear witness is to share what we’ve seen.
To bear Christian witness is to have experienced the love of Christ and to share Christ’s love with the world around us.
We’re giving witness all the time on social media. In the past week on Facebook, I’ve given witness to my kids’ first parade of the season, to the joy of worshiping at the local nursing homes this past Sunday, and finally to my marriage. There was no logical reason to post any of these events, except to proclaim to the world, “Hey, everybody, look at this good thing that is happening in my life!”
What if we were as comfortable giving witness to Jesus as we are comfortable giving witness to our life events? What if we practiced bearing witness to Jesus as often as we bear witness to birthdays, weight loss, and football victories? What if we use the skills of witnessing we have so well honed on social media and use them to share a little of the Good News? Think about it.
It occurs to me that we can do both. The opportunity for Christian witness is one of the redeeming qualities of social media after all. This morning’s post in celebration of my anniversarissy, for instance, gave no mention of God, but it could have. Maybe it should have. “Thanks be to God for drawing that geeky teenager to me all those years ago. Thanks be to God that none of my stupidity has ever stopped him loving me”…I could go on, so what stopped me that morning?
It was early. I can blame sleeplessness. For lots of us, though, it’s just a matter of forming new habits of seeing and talking about world. It comes with faith and prayer and practice. It comes with immersing ourselves in the words of the Bible—where we learn the language of faith—and trying out that language in new ways.
Maybe then our Christian witness will be as strong as our social media presence. Maybe.
I posted that anniversarissy message just a few hours ago. It already has over a hundred “likes” and a several dozen comments. A beloved troglodyte whose husband had to show her the post even called to congratulate us. So it goes.
That’s how good news gets shared: one friend to another.