I write this blog entry not to argue, not to attack, but only to raise some questions. They are questions I feel are worth asking. As always, I welcome ANYONE to dialogue with me.
The comment was in reference to a photo. It was shaming an assumed violation of a child's innocence. The Comment-Giver (anonymous to me) had a very strong opinion about the preservation of innocence. I sensed a strong desire to keep a child innocent, to protect that innocence, to shelter a child from the "filth" of the world. I guess it made me wonder.....
.....What is innocence? What is the purpose of innocence? Is it always a shame when innocence is broken? What breaks innocence? Is it exposure to indulgence? Or is it indulgence itself?
We walk a fine line when it comes to protecting ourselves don't we? One step to the right and a person is sheltered from reality. One step to the left and a person is over-exposed to the ruins of life. Perhaps the easiest way to escape the stress of it is to ride the safe side and avoid any unwanted consequences. But does that make a person innocent? Or does that make a person ignorant?
Before you attack me, please understand that I am not necessarily holding an either/or opinion. I'm not advocating that we walk completely on either side. Once again...I'm just asking questions.
When I was younger I was home schooled, and then I decided I wanted to go to public high school. It really bothered me when more than one person in my church told me that I was making a sinful choice. I didn't understand. It really bothered me. I'm not a mother, but I have an incredible mother! I respect her for letting me go to public school. Yes, I WAS exposed to many things there...many disgusting things. But because I was exposed I was then able to make real educated choices. How can our choices be valid unless they are educated? And isn't interactive experience the best education?
Working so hard to preserve innocence seems to assume that consequences are always bad. I have experienced the gut-wrenching heart-aching experience of an ended dating relationship...and that is a consequence I could never NEVER regret. I have experienced the shame of involving myself in some poor choices...but because of that shame I learned about God's abundant love for me. This grace has given me an identity that shines. Paul says "What then? Shall we sin more so that grace may abound more? By no means!" But he only says that because the grace of God is so incredible, and...well....needed...because we are human.
Psalm 119.1-3 says "Blessed is he who's way is blameless. He does nothing wrong." Is that the end? That's it? Just don't do anything wrong and I'm considered blameless? If that is the case, then I guess I fully disagree with the Bible and I think it is proposing a cheap way of living.
I feel our choices need to be made in courage. How amazingly beautiful it is to see the options, interact with them, and THEN choose which way to go! How much more meaningful is a blameless life when those choices were made courageously?!
I will conclude, in my own opinion, that innocence is maintained in spite of exposure, as long as good choices are made. And perhaps innocence is redeemable? If we don't allow ourselves to choose, if we don't allow ourselves to be educated, if we don't educate our children....then we are just ignorant. I think I really believe that.
Thanks for listening.