Web chats are weird, but then I suppose other modern communication tools are too. Back in the olden days of handwritten letters, it might take a minimum of several days before receiving a reply to my letter. In today’s fast-paced world, we have come to expect instant responses to our communications. Hence my weird web chat with an unknown person at a well-known company. The chat achieved a result but was very impersonal.

You really can’t beat a face to face conversation. You could say, like Parliamentarians using different spelling, “The eyes have it.” On my desk there are a dozen pairs of eyes smiling at me, so when I’m on the phone to one of the family, I have their photo in front of me. Lovely though it would be, it’s not always practical to be face to face with family members who live at a distance. The photos help.

Each face is different and each pair of eyes represents a unique person who is of great value to me, but also of great value to God. A smile, a kind word, a listening ear, can all help someone feel affirmed – so important and necessary in an impersonal and often lonely world. If God recognises me amongst his billions and knows me by name, I should make the effort to affirm others – including that unseen face on the other end of the web chat.

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