I am reading The Long Loneliness, an autobiography of Dorothy Day. It struck me how she went through her own “awakening” in the early 1900s in much the same way I did when I was in college. I reflect on that because “deconstruction” is the “buzz word” of our time… and it’s not really at all. It may look slightly different in every generation, but it’s not something “wholly owned” by any particular generation.
I ran into that attitude listening to the “Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” podcast series, especially when one episode veered off and focused on Joshua Harris of the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” fame. When the host equated those deconstructing Joshua Harris with some aspects of Mark Driscoll, social media blew up. How DARE he make their deconstruction sound so tawdry!!!! Only THIS generation knows how to deconstruct! (That was the attitude being thrown around.)
In all of this, I am actually encouraged. It’s been awhile since I’ve been bothered by any kind of “deconstruction” talk. It can certainly get prideful, which, again, happens in every generation.
Dorothy Day, as a very young college student, realized the discrepancies in her day. She grew up in a hard working family, so their attitude toward the poor was similar to my upbringing: if you’re poor, you didn’t work hard enough. The destitute were seen as shiftless. Poverty was their own fault.
As to the rich? They were doing something right. They were blessed. “… I knew the rich were smiled at and fawned upon by churchgoers. This is all that I could see.”
The path she began to choose in college was for her life to be “blessed,” but in a way that also blessed others. She didn’t take the path of, “I’m blessed. Too bad you don’t work as hard so you can be as blessed to.”
No. She joined the Socialist party.
I never did join the Socialist party, but as she unfolded her reasoning in college, I could follow it plainly. It was the path I could see in my own life. She was deconstructing in her generation. I was deconstructing in my own. Now, it continues on.
We are not unique to this thought of “deconstruction” is my point. A younger generation doesn’t see my generation as having done any deconstruction at all. It’s because it is different. MY generation can’t understand the current deconstruction process because it is different.
Honestly, it’s hard to know if we will ever realize this from generation to generation. We will probably just continue to be mad at each other. I have decided I am not mad. I am trying to understand. I am trying to understand my own process and while I hope others would recognize it, the probability is that they won’t. So be it.
I am trying to understand deconstruction in this time period and know I won’t get it all figured out. So be it. I can still see it and be encouraged.
In all of this, here is where I continue to stand:
I am all in on the beauty of Christ. He is the beautiful Savior worth following and I will continue to bank on HIS BEAUTY leading me and others into Kingdom goodness that will continue to bless this world.