Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jerkhood Forgiven

I am a judgmental jerk. For all the progress I thought I'd made here on the world wide web learning to double check my posts and comments, making sure that they are true to who I am and what I believe while being polite to others, the realization of jerkhood hit me twice yesterday. Once by an apology and once by a story.

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,


  1. Thank you Allison. I'm a jerk on a regular basis, may God have mercy on me. I am sure we would be friends if we lived close by!

  2. Okay, wow, so I just realized that this blog post was about us. That's hilarious! And, it just goes to show that FB is sooo misleading. I always think, when I see your status updates, that we have tons in common and that we would really enjoy hanging out. I had no idea that I come across as "perfect"!

    The humiliation and suffering of recent years has taught me the beautiful lesson that I am good simply because I am. There was a time, in the darkest days of my family imploding, when I sat in prayer and saw myself utterly naked and curled up in a fetal position in the hand of God and I knew that I was good. That I was enough simply because God Is. I have been so set free simply to exist, away from all the pressures to perform, and that is a transformation that merits all that Devin and I suffered. I would do it all over again, so grateful am I for God's gift of conversion through the process.

    So, please pardon me if I seem to foster the illusion of perfection. If it helps, you should know that I swept the floors yesterday for the first time in 4 weeks and had about 5 pounds of stuff in the dustpan. And, I'm on anti-depressants. And, that I think I have a double chin. I'm ridiculous, just like you. (I mean that cheerfully).

    God bless you, dear lady.