For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” — Galatians 5:13-14
Love others as yourself. This is easy, and hard. If you live to love other people, there has to be a “you” to do the living and the loving first. I am blessed to be a “you” at all; to have been given a body that inhabits the world; to have some sort of heart and mind; to walk a lovely, wondrous, scary place called earth equipped with feet and senses. And I am blessed that there are others; lucky to live among a rich range of people much different than me that help make my “you” so much fuller.
This blog has been many things over the years, pretty random and unbridled. In December 2012 it became a sort of Christmas thing, and in early 2013 I started doing a series with a bunch of guest bloggers. And now? Well, I don’t know. More unbridled randomness, I guess.
In rethinking my web zone — Do I have one at all? Should I quit Facebook and Twitter and everything? Go off the grid and just use land lines and snail mail and smoke signals? — I’ve wrestled with a big question: how do I use a thing that so easily and so often serves as a tool for shameless self-gratification and self-promotion as a way to love others as myself?
No different than any question I ask of any thing, but it’s trickier sometimes. You see a jug of bleach and think “Don’t feed this to any babies”; you see a knife, and all you have to do is not plunge it into anybody’s torso, and everything will be okay. With the internet it gets a little grayer. A knife is a concrete thing, you know — an easy example because I hold it and I hurt someone, or I use it to make them toast. The options are physical and simple. The internet is numbers, waves, super smart geek stuff that I do not understand at all. Remember learning simple machines from fourth or fifth grade? Pulley, lever, wheel and axle, inclined plane, screw, and wedge. You don’t see Google in there anywhere. This means that judging the amount of work that’s really going on in the interwebs is far more difficult than anything before.
But I’m not worried about how much work is getting done. I’m worried about what kind of work. How do I make my online actions loving? The answer to my question is just another question: who is operating the machine and in which direction? A wedge looks an awful lot like a knife if you’re driving it down into someone’s heart. Guns don’t kill people, people do. Etcetera.
So thank God that this is just a blog. Nothing sharp or really loaded, in a concrete bullet-way. I’ll try to stay unloaded in a metaphorical way, too — though I’m an artist by nature and I can’t make any promises; though I’m a human being by birth and what are we but metaphor machines? So I’ll try not to stab or shoot. I’ll try to be exciting. I’ll try to use these tools to make it work — to be free and in love here with me and you and everyone we find.