Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hacked: the upside

My gmail account was hacked last night, wiping out my inbox & sending a message to everyone I've ever known detailing an "urgent & unannounced trip to Madrid" in which I "encountered some difficulty." Apparently, Western Union is the best way to send money to help.


The irony is, just yesterday I was reading a book that mentioned how the Bible encourages us to rejoice always, pray continuously, and give thanks in all circumstances. I was going to blog about this, asking how it goes for you if you've tried it, admitting that it's something I struggle with when things get hard. I'm never sure if I'm supposed to give thanks FOR the difficult things in life, or thank God for the assurance that somehow (even if I can't understand it) He is working things out for good and I can trust that. (As one person told me, "God's will is what we would choose if we knew all the facts.")

I didn't get to write that blog. I had to deal w/the hacking: a year of emails deleted, my account compromised, the gmail help page saying, "So sorry...there's not much we can do." It was as if some vile form of evil out there was laughing, saying "Let's see her give thanks in THIS!"

But then (I'm learning that with God, there's usually a "but then...") I started getting emails...and text messages...and DMs on Twitter...from friends near & far, telling me I'd been hacked. Many included little updates on how they're doing: one has written a book, another said this reminded him to pray for me, and I even scheduled a long-overdue lunch with a third. Such fun in the midst of resetting my password and trying to recover what was lost (then realizing I can't: it's lost).

The Bible says that when vile evil intends things for our harm, God will find a way to use those circumstances for good. This morning is a fun, vivid reminder of that for me--reconnection with friends, gratitude that I'm not lost & penniless in's been a much "bigger" morning than I anticipated. I'm praying...thankful...and rejoicing. All before breakfast. Who knew such a thing was possible?


heidikins said...

Being hacked is pretty much my worst nightmare. Gaah, the agony!

I must say, you are handling it remarkably well, and I love your last paragraph. :)


Sarakastic said...

I knew the email wasn't yours right away because it wasn't even funny or awesome.

Trish Ryan said... guys are the best :)

And yes, I promise: if I'm ever stranded in a foreign city and send out a massive email call for cash, you can bet it will be both hilarious AND suitable for framing!

Jon Putnam said...

I think (I think I think) that "Give thanks in all things" means the same kind of unconditional, unqualified, unreserved giving over of yourself to the expression that is also found in "Husbands, love your wives," "Wives, respect your husbands," and obviously in all of God's expressions toward us.

I say this because everyone knows that we are supposed to love unconditionally, and at least in theory that makes sense. But "respect unconditionally"? My wife asks me how she is supposed to respect me if I don't behave respectably. I think the answer is to separate what she is supposed to do from the circumstances in which she is supposed to do it. It's obviously easier and better if I behave respectably, but if I don't, I don't think she has much of a leg to stand on when she decides to withhold her respect.

The same with thanks: "Thank you for the #$@! hacker" seems a little twisted. "Thank you for all the updates I got due to the #$@! hacker" is better, but it's still conditioned on seeing the silver lining. "Thank you period" seems closer to Paul's sense: all of the eternal, unchangeable things - including the capacity to give thanks knowingly - remain unchanged by the @#$! hacker.

He says.

"The worst is not, So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.' " King Lear IV.i

Toiah said...

At first I was so thrilled to be recieving an email from you... An announcement of a new book perhaps? But when I read the content I realized it wasn't you after all. Bummer. BUT! There are always blessings even in the midst of trials...

Thank you for sharing your blessings with us. I'm so glad you were able to reconnect with old friends :)

LEstes65 said...

So wait . . . to whom did I wire that $5000????!!!

I'm with HRH Sarakastic: your email would have been much more clever!