Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Dear Anonymous Facebooker

Dear Anonymous Facebooker,

I saw your post today. The one about believing in Jesus Christ and challenging other believers to put the same post on their wall.  You said Jesus said he would deny us in front of God, if we deny him in front of our “peers.”  It’s a simple test, you said. If you are not afraid, then re-post.
You probably don’t know this—probably you had no desire to have this effect on me--but your post makes me want to do the opposite.  Because it inspires guilt and fear in me, a lover of Jesus who gets by in the world because of and out of the conversations I have with him daily: the questions and answers and simple moments of divine presence felt.  Yet, Jesus never told me—he didn’t, I promise—to copy and paste your status up on my Facebook page. And I wonder at the audacity of a mere human trying to boil down a relationship with divinity (and everyone’s afterlife statuses-to-be) to whether one hits cntrol-c followed by cntrl-v on a keyboard. It seems so black and white. So cut and dried. So harsh, really. Do this, or else. Or else—what? Damnation? Eternal Punishment? Separation from God for eternity?

Because that’s the kind of God you believe in. The kind that is upstairs devising tests by which he can damn us all quickly. Hey—using Facebook for the job is so efficient. All he has to do is count.

Do you remember that Peter denied Christ three times and yet. Yet, Peter was also martyred for his love for Christ, crucified upside down. Because of love. For Christ.
Anonymous Facebooker, I want to introduce you to wiggle room. If you peer into the economy of Christ’s kingdom, I believe you’ll find an X factor,  so that a man like Peter, who denied him three times, and then testified for Christ, died for the sake of that testimony, is welcomed by Christ—not denied by him. The X factor: can we call it grace? Grace that doesn’t damn us to hell the second, the moment, we speak or don’t speak, act or don’t act, put your stupid status on our FB page or not.  Because there are a hundred times a week I speak or don’t, act or don’t, and yet I know this grace that looks at the whole picture of my heart, grace that gives me an opportunity to be in process, to make mistakes and recover, to arrive at my own understanding and final revelation of divinity or not divinity in my life.

Maybe I don't sound very gracious toward you. I'm sorry. I need to take deep breaths and back away slowly when I see status updates like yours. I have to write an entry like this over the span of a week because I'm trying to make it come out not-too angry. I'm working on telling the truth as I see it, with love.

And here's my bottom line: God’s not riding Zuckerberg’s coattails..  


Cathy Adams said...

So well put and lovingly conveyed. I delete these types of emails all the time for pretty much the reasons you stated; unfortunately, my reactions often involve a bit of resentment at the naive audacity of the sender. Your words will help me to temper that as I hit delete when I receive the next one. Blessings.

Kate said...

Heather, you told me you were "only" writing blog posts. So be it. Your blog posts are flash essays. You rock my friend. And I WILL post that as my facebook status and forward it to 17.3 friends in the next five minutes.

Jennifer Leavy said...

I love you Heather. You speak the truth and I can see it WAS done in love. I have felt the same way about these posts and emails that I have gotten and have simply just deleted because that is not the God I serve. I am so grateful for Grace and the love God has shown me and I cannot imagine my not posting a mindless message is the same as not being Christ to our neighbor. Keep writing in truth and in love.