What we read and watch on the internet can make our hearts soar.
It can also make our hearts weep.
Mine did both recently.
Logging onto my email from a remote computer, I watched MSN’s top news stories scroll by. A headline from Examiner.com and its accompanying photo caught my eye:
Paris Jackson happy with boyfriend Chester after pregnancy talk, suicide attempt.
Happy, according to the Examiner, is a 17-year-old girl with pink and black hair accepting an open-mouthed kiss from an 18-year-old Mohawk-sporting, wife-beater-shirt-wearing soccer player from a “family of means.” In a hotel bathroom, no less.
The article expressed delight that Paris, who had attempted suicide in 2013, looked “happy, healthy, and gorgeous.”
My heart wept for Paris.
Also in my news feed was another story, this one about another teenage couple. They, too, looked happy, healthy, and gorgeous. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s headline read:
Quarterback fulfills 4th grade promise, asks childhood friend with Down syndrome to prom.
The photo showed a tall, clean-shaven young man in a dark suit holding the hands of his prom date. Dressed in a stunning lavender floor-length gown and sporting a wrist corsage, the young lady smiled demurely, too shy to meet his happy grin.
Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz were friends in fourth grade when he promised, someday, to take her to the prom. Eight years later, he made good on his promise.
Commenting on his decision to take his Down syndrome friend to the most important event of the year, Moser said, “There shouldn’t be a barrier between someone who has Down syndrome and someone who doesn’t. You should just be who you are, and do what’s right. Simple,” he said.
Simple indeed, Ben Moser.
A wise man once said, “Your life is the sum of the choices you’ve made.” I couldn’t help contrasting Paris Jackson’s choices with Ben Moser’s.
At the end of the day, who do you think was really happy?
Here's a video clip of prom day. If you're reading by email, click here to view the video.
This week I'm privileged to serve on faculty at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers conference. Nestled in beautiful Black Mountain, NC, the conference is an amazing opportunity to pour back into the Christian writing community some of what I've learned.
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