In Which the Prodigal Returns

In one M*A*S*H episode, B.J. bets Hawkeye that Hawkeye can’t go an entire day without cracking a joke. Hawkeye nearly falters numerous times throughout the day, especially with the comedy of errors going on between Winchester, Margaret, and Winchester’s old commanding officer, but he makes it. And at exactly midnight, he picks up the PA mike and lets loose on all the jokes he’d held inside during the day.

I’m picking up the PA mike and letting loose.

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, I abandoned my blog, as well as Facebook and Twitter. The journey since then has been unexpected.

When I told my mom I was giving up social networking for Lent, her first response was laughter. "That’s not much of a sacrifice!" she said. Of course, offended and defensive of my cyber peeps, I asked what she meant. "You rarely go out as it is," she said.

Turns out, she thought I meant all social interaction. She has these crazy fears that I’ll end up some writing hermit on some deserted beach. (There are worse things I could do.)

The first week, I’d awaken with something I just had to blog about. Then I’d remember. I can’t blog. I should blog about not blogging, I’d think (true story).

After that first week, I found joy in personal journaling (something I hadn’t done since blogging) and the extra time I had to read. Confession: this tempted me to give up social media for good. Perhaps my mom was right. I could be a hermit.

Now comes the unexpected part. About two weeks ago, I began to unravel. Emotionally speaking. Things had gotten a little stressful at the Goodman house, and I wasn’t handling the stress as well as I normally do. What was wrong with me?

Then it occurred to me: I’d lost part of my support system. Social networking isn’t about being a celebrity. It isn’t splatting my opinions for all the world to see. And it isn’t, as Coupland claims in Generation A, about finding a way to make my otherwise boring life into a story. At least it isn’t for me.

It truly is about community. You guys know me, and I know you. I pray for you and count on you. I’m the last person to argue that social networking replaces human touch and face-to-face community (rather than Facebook-to-Facebook), but that doesn’t negate the reality of the true friends I’ve made here.

As someone who works from home, you guys ground me, keep me in touch with some semblance of reality (remember this post from four years ago [four years ago? Have I been online that long?] about my penchant for other realities?). I discovered that without the interaction I have on Twitter and Facebook, my writing suffered. It got too stodgy. I lost some humor in it.

So I’m back with a new appreciation for the role of social media in my life, with a new appreciation for all of you and your roles in my life. I thought I’d be raring to talk about the books I’ve read, the music I’ve discovered, the stories I’ve lived, and to some extent, I am. But I’m more anxious to hear your voices, to read your blogs, to see you in our shared studios.

Tapestry: Beauty Resurrected

I have to be honest: This is my favorite piece I’ve written on beauty. It might be one of my favorites I’ve written period.

At Tapestry today, I blogged about Beauty resurrected. A taste:

"Beauty transforms. This does not mean that it smooths over like
retouched photos. It doesn’t erase–Christ’s resurrected body had scars
in his hands and feet. Instead, it draws us into God’s story and
through that, gives life and vitality. It takes a prostitute, a
mourning widow, and a rape victim and includes them in Christ’s
ancestry. It makes a couple grieving over infertility for almost a
hundred years give birth to a nation. It shows how a couple who
committed adultery then murder to hide their shame raised the man who
would build the most magnificent structure in Israel’s history."

(Read the rest here.)

I love the Easter season. In Lent, we join Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. In Passion Week, we enter into his suffering for mankind.

But in Easter, we join Christ’s defeat of death. We join his new life. We celebrate! To participate in this celebration of new life, I’m taking up two new things. The first, I mentioned before, is a new small group. It’s just three of us, and the study combines lectio divina with spiritual disciplines. I love the other two girls in the group. I’d say I can’t wait to see what God will do with this–and that’s true–but I already see him working.

The second is related: as part of the lectio divina we practice daily, I want to meditate through visual art. This is not a particular talent I have. I won’t be a rich and famous painter someday. But as I meditate on the patterns and rhythms of the Scripture, as I pray through them, I’m drawing, collaging (well, it’s a word now!), and painting.

So those are my Easter practices.



More Easter Thoughts

Friends invited us over for Easter lunch/dinner (it was somewhere in between).

Last year, they gave up desserts for Lent, so they made five desserts for Easter. This year, they gave up meat. We had a plethora of meat in this year’s meal. I suggested that Chris and I should be able to contribute to their next Lenten decision.

Note: We eat with these friends on a regular basis. They like us because we don’t have kids, so we can always make the trek to their house. Also, we bring the wine. We like them because they cook for us on a regular basis. About a year or so ago, the husband decided he wanted to learn to cook like a bona fide chef. We’re his guinnea pigs. We’re okay with that. Our almost weekly dinners pre-celebrate the wedding feast in the new earth.
Renew Now