(This is Intern 2, the same introduced on the Bradbury posts. She is a public-schooled liturgical Christian who’s occupied her past few years getting degrees related to literature. Today, having gotten her long walk down a memory lane of fiction out of her system, she sets out the oncoming course for her Salvo blog stint.)
We all, every one of us, have planks in our eyes. Big planks. Noticeable planks. Our own planks. (See reference here if you’ve made it onto this site without recognizing it. Yes, I’m mixing translations with the words I’m using. Call it a compromise). We know that.
And we know that our attention and effort should go toward removing those planks before we go picking motes from the eyes of others. This means in many cases that we never get to pick motes.
Obviously, if I spent this blog series pointing out the planks in your eyes, it would amount to no more than blind mote picking, which would be, besides hypocritical, unreadable. Moreover, no one wants to watch me dig the planks out of my own eyes and proceed to smack myself with them (we can be reasonably sure that’s not why God gave us the capacity to make the Internet). For the purpose of this blog, it’s enough to acknowledge that all those planks are there.
So I’m going to try not to talk about planks and motes. I’m going to try to focus on the eyes they’re lodged in.
In other words: we are all sinners capable of bad choices. This includes those of us reading this blog, and those of us who don’t know this blog exists or would refuse to come here if they did (or do know and do refuse). To belabor the quality of sin and the badness of the choices would be an exercise in redundancy. To explore why people make the choices they make, what effect it’s had on their lives and relationships and selves, and what might lead them in a different direction is, I think, much more productive.
And that all this is most effectively explored with a degree of empathy goes (almost) without saying. If we can reach sympathy, that would be even better.
During my time on the blog, to discuss a range of issues that may be of interest to Salvo readers, I plan to introduce several semi-hypothetical friends. These possibly include but are not limited to; Barnabas and Bernadette, the very nice* young couple who are cohabitating; Seth, the very nice young man struggling with his attraction to other young men; Clothilde, the very nice young woman who may or may not be actually attracted to any of the many people she’s spent a night with; Lysander, who may be attracted to one very nice young woman but isn’t sure how to act on his attraction; Tertius, the now-atheist whose conversion story seems to leave little room for further discussion; Yevfemiya, the sweet homeschooler from my own youth group; McHaley, the sweet homeschooler from someone else’s youth group; Harrison, your colleague of whatever philosophical persuasion who one-hundred percent sure he’s come down on the right side, and isn’t afraid to tell you about it; and when relevant the various brothers and sisters of each.
There may also be times when I feel like waxing lyrical on the value of say, libraries or canoing or vocations or abstinence or genre fiction or the occasional sugar buzz. Maybe, though rarely as I’m hardly an expert, I’ll venture into theological territory—though as that gets into the whole point of anything we do anyway, it might not be necessary to expound here.
But in any case, stay tuned. And speak up. Keep the conversation going, or the monologue will easily devolve into mote-picking.
And you know, planks, eyes, blindness, etc.
I remain through every post,
*Please allow me to employ a weightier connotation of “nice” than that disparaged by many conservative thinkers. Please, here, let it mean “kind,” “well-intentioned,” and “possessed of a working conscience.”