Monday, April 17, 2017

With A Friend Like This...

Last month, I told you how a Facebook "friend" went on a purge, unfriending anybody who was not congruent with her political leanings. I told you how I had written back to her, saying I was still her friend and apologizing for any harm or hurt feelings on your servant's part. I didn't hear back from her.

Today, I sent this person a private message wishing her a Happy Birthday (albeit one day late) as I could not post on her page anymore -- as I do to send birthday wishes to all my facebook friends, with a virtual courtly bow thrown in. Here's how that message exchange went:

My Dearest Lady [Redacted],

A Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you! I still wonder why you have unfriended me -- and it has left your servant more than a bit sad. I apologize if I have hurt or offended you. I love all my Dancing Friends, and I would be horrified to know I have hurt someone. I am still your friend, no matter what.

May GOD Bless You, My Lady!
With a Bow To You From Afar,
Laird Christopher
Her reply came within minutes, hastily typed:

Every time I post about the HORRIBLE NIGHTMARE of the Trump administration, i blame voters like you. YOu and all those who refused to vote for Hilary Clinton (who I didn't "like" either) are responsible for our nation sliding into the abyss. Please don't contact me again.
The iciness of the response floored me.

I quickly wrote back, in sadness:

Dearest Lady [Redacted], I am sorry you feel that way. I would have hoped we could be friends in spite of our differences (which may not be that different at all.) I will respect your wishes... with regrets. --YHS, CF

This is a lady I have danced with, a lady who put politics aside in the historic ballroom, and a person whom I thought had the temperament and enlightenment to carry some of that good nature forward into the present. "More fool me," as Phil Collins once sang. Apparently her good nature is only reserved for people who share her same beliefs, and I didn't know that until she discovered I didn't share all of them.

The bitterness and hate directed at others over the last election cycle continues to depress me. This person would rather be spiteful towards me for the way I voted rather than be grateful for the birthday wishes, which she didn't even acknowledge.

Last week, during Bible study with my church friends, one of them told me he hardly trusts anybody anymore because he has been let down by so many people.

"But wait a minute," I piped up, "Isn't that against GOD's nature? I mean, HE says we're to encourage each other day after day (Hebrews 10:24) and like iron sharpens iron man sharpens man (Proverbs 27:17)."

"You're right, Christopher," he nodded. "You're right."

As I said in the previous post, I don't give up on my Facebook friends because GOD doesn't give up on us. If Facebook is going to call connected people "friends," I am going to treat people like friends. That term needs to mean what it says. And remember, this person was not some obtuse collection of bits on a screen attached to a profile person. This person was a lady I had met in real life and had shared in fellowship. I gather I will see her again in Williamsburg next year. She has always treated me kindly on the dance floor.

And one year ago, when I posted on Facebook about leading a historic ball for a Christian school here in Tucson, she left me this comment:

You have done a wonderful thing! Just know you touched many lives and some will remember it forever!

Apparently, none of that matters now.

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