Thursday, July 21, 2022

A Case of Stolen Identity?

Yesterday a few dear people alerted me that they'd received messages on Instagram and Facebook from an account with someone pretending to be me.  It's a story that has probably happened to most of us on social media by now.

Whoever made that account did not steal my identity.  There will only ever be one me in the world.  I am fully intact.

The copycat didn't figure out my password or compromise my account--they just took a screenshot of my profile picture, started a new account with my name, and started messaging random friends/followers of mine, potentially with the use of a bot, I suppose. Anyone who knows me most likely ignored the messages, because IG and Facebook told them it was someone who wasn't their friend--and also because the messages, though friendly, weren't really characteristic of me. When people do this, it's a nuisance, but it doesn't have to be a threat. We can recognize it for what it is, report or delete, and carry on.

For me the fake accounts are a relatively benign pitfall of social media, compared to the promotion of fear, division, blame and hatred that have actually taken something precious from us--by making us forget that there is an abundance of beauty and hope in the world, so much that we can learn from each other and appreciate about each other, and that differences don't have to make enemies. 

I wholeheartedly applaud the people who have gotten fed up and left social media. But here I still am, for better or worse, hoping to help myself and others remember all the gifts we have. In our own little corners of the world, we can spread hope and gratitude.  We can live in our true, God-given identity.

As my husband would say, "Don't let them steal your joy."



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Treasures

This is the story of love, embodied in generosity.

When Lee and I got married, we received three exquisite crystal bowls as gifts.  
If you know us, fancy is probably the last word you would use to describe us, and formal right next to it. 
When we received these bowls, which were nowhere on our registry, we felt treasured.


This bowl was given to us by a couple who helped me grow up. They were our neighbors, and some of my parents' dearest friends.  My mom worked with the wife eventually, and the support they gave all of us over the years was indispensable. I can just picture her going out of her way to find something special enough for us.  They were always lavish in their love for us and others.



This bowl came from an older couple from our church.  They were a classy pair.  Not long before our wedding, she had been moved to memory care, after he spent several very challenging years caring for her by himself.  He could have ignored our wedding invitation altogether.  He could have called the store with our gift registry and said pick something for x amount, put it on my card and send it.  But he went and picked out this beautiful bowl, honoring his wife's impeccable taste, and demonstrating for us the meaning of "to love, honor and cherish, 'til death do us part".  She would have been so proud of him, and probably as grateful as we were.



This bowl came from my sister and her family.  She knows my style--we are as likely as not to be dressed pretty much alike when we get together.  And she loves to make delicious food, so it should be served in something worthy.  And worthy it is!  She shares all the good recipes so I can make the good food too.  She's taught me so much about hospitality.


These beautiful treasures have been in my china cabinet for almost twenty years, along with some others.  I loved looking at them often.  But the china cabinet was big and we wanted to use the space differently.  So I made some art to put on the wall where it had been.  It's so nice to be able to still enjoy my bowls there.  They've made a lasting impression.  Just like the people who gave them to us.



"And now these things remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love." 
1 Corinthians 13:13