Single-ness and One-ness of mind.

Can there be a difference in “single-mindedness” and “oneness of mind”? The two phrases sound similar and almost imply a tunnel vision of sorts. Two people can be of one mind working together as a single unit forcing complex and complicated variables into a solitary solution–be it simple or not. But two people can also be single-minded…in some cases only thinking about themselves…but in our society it could also mean some thing more.

My dear friend, Jamie, shared a quote with me she found on a friend’s Facebook page, (I’m paraphrasing…) “Being single is simply God’s way of keeping you all to himself until he finds a man good enough to care for your heart.”
Bring out the sledge-hammer… For one it implies that God is simply male–but I’m not about to start that argument here and now. Beyond that gender issue lies another–this is a shear feminine statement…unless a man is homosexual, or changes the wording a bit to make it work for a man seeking a woman. Jamie brought to my attention the fact that it implies singleness, being single, not being in a “dating” or “romantic” relationship (which our society makes impossible to define…) it implies singleness is a waiting period. Just as a caterpillar hangs out in a cocoon for a while before emerging a brand new creature–so the individual hides out in the chrysalis of singleness until breaking forth as the new (and improved?) committed person.

The phrase hints that people who are not attached are not fully human–that their identity is compromised because of a Facebook relationship status.

And finally, as I mulled over the phrase it screams individualism, and a stuck-up attitude: “Until God finds a man good enough to care for your heart.” Because, as we all know those who are not in relationships never have people caring for and shaping their hearts, guiding their passions–and bringing out the best in them… and certainly not people of the opposite sex. No, no, singles mold themselves–all by themselves–locked away from the warmth of community and humanity–until “that one special person” comes along (who in this case has never had anyone care for their heart either) to care for and mold you…

What a nightmare…

Shane Claiborne in Follow Me To Freedom addresses this in, I think, an eye-opening way for how we view “singles” and “couples.” He points out that Mama T (Mother Theresa) was single–and we don’t look at her life and say, “Wow, think of what she could have done if she would have found a husband!” And look at all the Church Fathers and Mothers before and after her. Their hearts were well cared for by other humans–as well as being filled with the love of Christ. They were no less human than the mother and father that bore and raised them…

Our society thinks singleness is a disease that needs the ultimate cure of a committed relationship. Claiborne challenges married couples to respect singles–and for singles to not be so judgemental of those who are married. It’s not about singleness or connectedness…

It’s about oneness.

For some pursuing God means they feel the Spirit and follow “on their own” building and connecting with the people of God around them. For others–keeping a beautiful marriage in a broken world presents a breath-taking picture of grace, reconciliation, and union with Christ. Both images are of Christ. SIngle, leaving all others to pursue God’s will and to bring the good news. Together with disciples and followers caring for and bringing hope–bringing the Kingdom of God to earth.

I do not see a right or wrong way. I know several couples that have done amazing things–things they could not have done had they not been married to one another. With the same breath I know many–very influential individuals in my life who love radically and embody that risen Christ in ways they wouldn’t be able to do if they were married…

We think too much of titles, put people in categories that must match our own. Where is the diversity? How can the image of God be fully magnified and displayed if we are all living the same life? We need one another–singles and couples. We need to struggle with boundaries, struggle with communication and schedules, timelines and goals. We are a family that must come together for a meal–a feast. We bring our differences to the table to be reconciled to one another, to eat and drink with the Lamb who calls us all to be the Body, who calls us to be one.

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