The Request

Her request was strange. Such a foreign ask on such a public forum that at first, I was confused and had to reread her post.

 The woman explained that she and her fiancé had recently moved to Utah and had no family or friends in the area. The two had wanted to get married at a courthouse, but because of COVID-19, they had to find another way. She found someone who agreed to wed them in a downtown park, but she had to secure two adult witnesses for the marriage to be legal.

Two adult witnesses. Two people to stand next to them as they said their ‘I do’s.’ Two random strangers who would participate in an intimate moment usually reserved for family and close friends. It broke my heart.

The woman stated that her husband’s coworkers had refused to help, so she was looking for recruits through Facebook. She went on to say that the ceremony would be short and held this coming Saturday, in the afternoon, to make it less inconvenient for volunteers.

Who was this woman? Was she insane?

Her post reminded me of a natural phenomenon where animals kill a wounded or deformed newborn for the sake of the rest. I understand two reasons for this. The first is the scarcity of resources in the wild. The other reason for an animal to destroy one of their own is that a weakling can attract a predator. So, no deformity, no problem.

I’ve seen this in action with chickens in a coop. A baby chick born with a broken leg is pecked to death by the others within a few days! Evolution is brutal!

As I read this woman’s post, I thought it was a mistake to share her dilemma. I assumed that someone would peck her and her fiancé right out of cyberspace if anyone read her plight. I was wrong.

“I’ll do it!” a woman responded right away. “I love that park!”

“I’ll be there!” said another.

“I’ll come and be back up!” said a third, “That park’s just down the street from my house!”

This reaction touched me and changed my whole reality. I realized that this woman wasn’t a weakling; she was incredibly strong. She put out into cyberdom that she had a problem. She was so confident that someone out there would hear her dilemma and come running.

Where I saw her issue as something she should be embarrassed about, she saw it as an opportunity to make friends.

In circumstances like the ones we are experiencing now, forced to social distance, to work from home instead of going to an office, life can feel overwhelmingly isolating. However, we are not all alone, not really.

I forgot that Facebook’s purpose (actually all of social media) was to connect with people, those who live far away, those you have lost touch with, and those who might share the same ideas and thoughts, hopes, and dreams that you have. I forgot that I am part of a community if I want to be.

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