It's Saturday morning and end of a busy week. It's been a puzzling week out here on the net. I've dealt with more than the usual snippy and snarly responses to a few of my post, have been accused of being a bit snarly myself, and generally have been less ready to let the comments just roll by, like the green water past our bows.
Why haven't I just let it go by? In part, I suppose because all this feels like the gnats and flies on a summer beach, distracting from the sunset and the beauty of the open water. I have been a bit grumpy because the mutterings (others and mine) on the net have seemed irrelevant by comparison to time in faithful community just experienced. The week prior to this I was with a community of young people in a Diocese working hard to be part of a people of God. This small community called out the best in all of us, in terms of working for the good of the whole, paying attention to the work given us and not minding others' business, etc. We were living under Jesus' and Paul' advice (see the readings for this Sunday, Proper 9, year c.) It was an intensely missionary presence not because of our great good or witness but because we were given grace to be part of a larger community of faith and part of its witness and life. Returning from that to the snarls and growls of internet life seemed, well, unhealthy.
I almost decided to cash it in yesterday. Why work on this blog, which has to be fed reasonably often, if the result is carping and carping back? I have found myself wanting to snap back, first at the critics on the blog, then at the strange stuff that happens elsewhere on the net, then finally at family and friends.
What I have written about community among friends on a cool 4th of July night, or about community in mission in Puerto Rico or even about dogs who love other dogs seems to fall by the wayside. I don't get many comments about such things.
Instead when I make what is arguably a pissy posting about the bishops who are gathering to put together an alternative Anglican church in the US and who claim they are the "real" Anglican presence, and that TEC is un-biblical, un-salvageable and unsafe I get comments, mostly pretty negative and I find myself responding negatively as well. I am not sure this is useful.
Among the criticisms I have received is that I refer to these bishops as a gang. Actually, I thought that better than a cabal. They are without question involved in planning for a new Province. There is every evidence of a Grand Plan, which is being executed. These bishops are not organized enough yet to be a cabal, they are not a herd, they are not a fellowship. What are they? I thought "gang" was pretty good, after all, they are ganging up on The Episcopal Church.
And now that I think about it, I am not actually displeased with the criticism received. Some of it was pretty useful. But what was discouraging was that almost no one from across the divide had anything good to say about my postings on freedom and love for one another, or on Puerto Rico, or dogs.
So be it. These are nasty times and we all get that way. But it is not good for my health, nor for yours dear readers, to let the acid get to the stomach.
In the future I think I will mostly refrain from commenting on comments. I will attempt to direct my criticism more directly and take some care in using words like "gang" and "folks", although I will still do so when feeling that a gang is ganging up on the Church or my friends, or me.
And I will take more time to write more or less reflective pieces that no one will write responses to, although perhaps some will read.
How's that for a Saturday morning resolution?