I was embroiled in a mommy conversation debating television, parking lots, and potato chips where I was certain of my total right-ness and irritated with my typing opponents' arrogance. I left the conversation because I'd said my piece and because the vegetables were burning and I had to get back to suppertime prep. I told and retold the story to my poor husband and a non-FB-addicted friend with far too much glee over my wisdom and verbal prowess.
Then I received an apology.
I stared at the words for many minutes, finally clicking away without responding. A day went by with several uncomfortable reminders of it. I knew that I should respond (Peggy Post politeness and all) but I seemed to be paralyzed. It took two days for me to realize that I didn't want to kiss and make up. That I liked my high horse. That it was easier to keep my nose in the air. That forgiveness, even on a small FB scale, is harder. Well, I did write back and became filled with affection for the good lady who took the time to write to me and with humiliation for my prideful hesitations.
I am also distant FB friends with a perfect couple. You probably know the type: gorgeous, great house, beautiful children, no problems, too too. I hardly took them seriously because really, if you don't have kids with chronic, serious illness and don't have tight finances, then your talk about loving God and carrying crosses and being a SAHM don't carry much weight with me. Then they told their story. And I cried all day. I cried for their pain; I cried for my gaping prideful sin; I cried for them again. What I jerk I'd been.
I hope and pray for forgiveness from these strangers. I hope and pray that this will have burned a permanent, unhealed hole in my heart as a reminder to love first. Because even immovable rules like Church doctrine are spokes of a wheel that are centered on the Gospel: tough truth, yes, but it begins with God's Love. "Love God; love others; upon these two rest all the law and prophets (Matthew 22:36-40). We're talking about created, loved people here. I think this is what Pope Francis meant.
I haven't decided if I should take a break from FB yet; I'm thinking of it for Advent, like a Lenten preparation...
Love to all,