Facebook. Can we talk about it for a minute? I am incredibly grateful for my politically diverse group of acquaintances and friends, but my goodness, these past few months have been rough.
COVID has placed us in scarcity mode. Every issue matters to us right now because life no longer feels safe. We’re worried about our jobs, our kids’ schooling, access to food, access to friends, our physical and mental health, the economy, and right now, we’re even worried about whether others will think our lives are important enough to be saved.
When we’re worried, we seek comfort. This is why the beginning of pandemic smelled so good. We mixed and stirred and baked ourselves through Doubletree chocolate chip cookies, sourdough bread, and Disney churros.
Now, though, we’ve set aside our baked goods for the comfort found in ideas. If a story makes us feel good or affirms our beliefs or gives us hope, we blindly click “share” choosing being “right” over being “true”.
In our quest for safety and comfort we circle up, joining tightly with the groups of people who agree with us, forgetting that those people are not always the people who care most about us.
If we are always right, we no longer need the friends and family who have walked through life with us as our voices of reason, bringing nuance to the conversation.
If we are always right, we no longer need God. As Richard Rohr says, if God always agrees with us, we have made God in our own image, sacrificing God’s fullness.
Fear can cause us to close ourselves off from those whose help we need the most.
God knew fear would be one of our biggest human problems so filled scripture with verses that proclaim, “Do not fear, I am with you.” Over 365 times, one for each day of the year, God reminds us that our world is not a world of scarcity, it is a world of abundance. This may be hard to believe right now, but it is true. God has given us everything we need, but this abundance is not ours alone. It is born out of community and requires that we share our gifts, share our resources, share our knowledge, share our trust, and share our hearts with one another.
This is no easy task and I don’t have any easy answers. Maybe, though, we can start small and pick one friend who disagrees with us on one issue and listen. Find out why they care so passionately about it. Share with them why you care. You may still disagree (you likely will) but maybe in that conversation we can begin to repair the rift tearing our relationships in half. We are always better together, especially with a diverse group of friends by our side.