This week I finally broke down and allowed myself to be assimilated into that vast and ever-growing Facebook nation. Facebook is an amazing place; as a result of joining Facebook I have had the opportunity to reconnect with people whom I have not seen or heard from in ages and whom I thought I would never see or hear from again as long as I lived.
Facebook is a blessing to me because it allows me to experience at least some measure of community, intimacy, and connection with others. These are all things which I desire very strongly, but because of certain developmental issues in my life, my capacity to experience the full blessings of community, intimacy, and connection with others is somewhat impaired. For this reason, I am willing to do whatever I have to do to experience this in any way that I can. This often means that I must sacrifice my own agendas for my relationships with others and accept whatever intimacy and community they are willing to offer me on their terms.
For example, it has been an ongoing frustration in my life that I am still single. (You can read more about this in my Valentine’s Day rant which will be forthcoming in a few days.) I desire to be in a romantic relationship with someone, and yet if I were always pressing for such a relationship, then no woman in her right mind would want to have me around. Thus I sacrifice this desire as part of the price I pay to be in community with the women that I know.
Another example: I can be very strongly opinionated about many controversial issues, especially related to politics and religion. Those of you who have been tracking with me regularly on this blog are no doubt well aware of this. Yet I know full well that politics and religion are generally very unsafe subjects for real live conversation. Thus I cannot be this way in real live conversation with other people, or else no one would want to have me around. (That is a huge part of the reason why I have this blog as an outlet.) That is part of the price I pay to be in community with other people.
I try to be true to my values and convictions, politically, religiously, and otherwise. And I try to be true to my desires in life, such as my desire for a relationship. Yet I know that in real life, if I want to be in community with others I can’t always have it my way, on my terms. For me, the choice is to accept slow, halting, compromising progress toward my social goals, or else to live altogether outside of community with others and attain no progress whatsoever toward my social goals. With this in mind I choose the former, not insisting upon the right to have my opinions heard or to have a relationship as part of the price I pay to be in community and experience at least some of the blessings of being in community.
I wish that we as evangelicals were willing to take the same approach in our engagement with the world at large, especially on the issue of abortion. Continue reading “Of Facebook, Community, and Abortion: My Roe V Wade Rant”