I am so easily amused, it’s really sad.
So I was browsing through Facebook a few days ago, and I get a note from a friend, asking for a bit of help with a friend of hers. It seems he has some questions about a photo she posted of Mary. Oh man, I so know where this is going.
You see, I’ve been here before. What starts as a quick, “Sure, I’ll answer your question!” quickly grows into a week long answer every attack that can be made about the Church, and be quick about it. Oh yea, and don’t make it too long, because this is Facebook, so all your answers have to fit in these cute little boxes.
Ugh, I hate it. Well, that’s not true actually, I love it. I just hate the little boxes. How the heck am I supposed to distill 2000 years of teaching into a few short one liners? Dangit, I don’t think in sentences! I think in paragraphs! I am simply not made for this task, I just talk too much. I feel handcuffed by the dang format.
So I do the exact opposite of course, and write for 15 minutes to really explain why we call Mary the Ark of the Covenant, and what do I get? A one line reply, with another snappy attack on the Church thrown in.
Again, Le Sigh.
This is the real problem with explaining the faith in the modern age. People can’t think all that much. They are too used to reading bumper stickers to understand complex topics. It just doesn’t work that way in the real world, but that is still what everyone expects. Well I’m sorry, but the truth is simply more complicated than that, it really isn’t that simple.
Let me put it this way, I could come out and say something like “The earth goes around the sun.” If I am asked to prove it, at every turn I am going to be thrown down, because while the concept is rather simple, there is really a whole lot of complicated things that go into it. I have to explain gravity, the idea of satellites, or eternal falling. I have to explain that there is an equal and opposite reaction in the sun us as well. It’s really just not simple. So when you question me, you sure as heck better be ready to think about the answer.
If however, you get surprised when the answer is not easy to come to, you have no right to be shocked, and pretend that I don’t know what I’m talking about, because it SHOULD be simple. Where the heck is it written that it should be simple? It isn’t!
The same is true in faith. We have long tested, deeply thought out understandings of how we have found what is true, and we usually distill it down to a simple idea. Mary is the Mother of God. God is a Trinity. The Church is the Body of Christ. Yes, these are simple, but if you want to really challenge them, you better be ready for the answer, and not expect to find it in a cheesy one liner. You will find no cheesy one liners here!
All that being said, I still just love to explain our faith, and if it has to be done on Facebook, bring it on. I just have to learn to be a whole lot less wordy.
I will not however, have this discussion on twitter or by txt, so don’t even ask.