They are a slice of life.
To base our assumptions (ass-ump-tions) on those snippets in time is a dangerous thing. We can use them to try to piece together a picture, but they’ll never give us a perfect image of someone’s everyday life. They’ll never tell you who takes out the trash each day, how many conversations are had at bedtime between a husband and a wife over major life decisions, what kind of agony a person goes through watching their loved one suffer day after day as their body fails them in the simplest of tasks. Instead, you just get snapshots. And you build from there.
If you skip a post, misinterpret the tone, don’t share the writer’s sense of the world or humor, you’re going to paint a different picture altogether. It may be the failing of the writer or the failing of the reader. Either way, it’s going to be an inaccurate picture of that life.
The only way to know a life is to live it. The only life you can know is your own. That’s why you cannot judge the life of another. (Now hold up while I get all religious on you or tune out if it’s not your thing.) That is why the only one to sit in judgment of our lives is our Creator – the same Creator who can handle our anger when we feel let down, our joy when we feel lifted, and our hurt when we don’t understand His plan.
If this past year has taught me anything, it is that I can lean hard on my God. He can handle it all. Every priest and pastor who has counseled me along the way has said just that. The error comes in thinking that He cannot, in thinking that we have to shoulder the fear, anger, frustration, and hate ourselves. We don’t. It is not our job. God can even handle the F-bomb. You’d be amazed.