But two weeks ago I took the plunge: I signed up for a Facebook account. (Would you “Like” my Facebook page, please?) My initial experience on Facebook confirmed the fears of my colleagues in the pro-life academy:
- It was confusing to use (although now I have become accustomed to much of it).
- I was afraid of surrendering my privacy. (For the longest time, my birthdate kept showing up on my page, even though I thought it wiser to keep that confidential. I think it is hidden now.)
- And, of course, the last thing I want is another username and password to remember (or to forget, as the case often is).
Two weeks into the venture, I am closing in on 300 friends, including former classmates, former and current students, and current colleagues at my college and in the broader world of academia. I was encouraged to discover a long-lost high school classmate who takes prayer requests via Facebook, and then posts prayers as well as encouraging updates in the days that follow.
Of course, there will always be the stereotypical status update about what someone fed his cat this morning, or who is frustrated over the switch to daylight savings time. And, yes, there is something fundamentally human about celebrating the mundane, about discovering beauty in the ordinary as much as in the extraordinary. But the pro-life advocates who coaxed me into joining Facebook seek something more: a purposeful promotion of a life-affirming ethic, so that other people also will enjoy the opportunity to celebrate the mundane, rather than have their lives cut short.
But there is more to this venture than even that. The pro-life community of which I speak does not stop with the grave; it proclaims God’s gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus, by whose death and resurrection we may have life abundantly. The mundane has been redeemed through His blessed incarnation, and the extraordinary inheritance of heaven has been made available to us through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, by which we become children of God, yes heirs of His kingdom of grace.
And so my high school classmate and I really have one and the same desire: to use social media to provide life-affirming comfort to those in need. And let’s be honest, we all are in such need. Thanks be to God that He fills our deepest, truest need in Christ Jesus!
Thank you for joining me in this endeavor. Please, contribute your suggestions, share your experiences, pose some questions, and offer your encouragement. I look forward to hearing from you.