For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:5-6 (NIV)
Today marks six years since I started blogging. At first, I was hesitant, unsure of who my audience was. Husband and children were worried about stalkers and too much personal information floating around in cyberspace. Still, I persisted confident in the anonymity of the medium and my chosen moniker, “Island Rider”. For a long time, when I commented on other blogs, I didn’t link back to my own afraid to attract attention of strangers. Then, I grew more confident as I realized that there while there are some out there; the mean, hateful bloggers didn’t seem interested in my ramblings about daily life and love. With only a small following, I could be more honest than I can even in my real life. Yes, there are still things I do not write about, after all, husband occasionally lurks about, but in the world of Island Rider, honesty even about my failings is okay. Before long, I realized that the audience I was writing for was me. The blog became a way to remember the good times and the bad and hopefully encourage a few visitors along the way. Yesterday, I stumbled across another blog that does just that. I started reading Fishy2me and her stories of living in the south last night and stayed up long past my bedtime to read two years worth of her wise, amusing and thought provoking writing. Sometimes I wanted to raise my fist in a cheer; other times found me swabbing tears from my cheeks. I love the way she dresses down her husband, takes her grip off her child, tells the church lady bully to back off and holds businessmen and clients accountable. Today, I picked up where I left off and sat on the couch the entire day reading all the way to the start of her blog in 2008. I ignored the dust and dog hair on the floors, the laundry to be folded, and the bathrooms to be scrubbed and delved into life at the “Pond.” At 4:15, I stumbled out into the light blinking like a mole to go to the barn and feed the horses. I hope none of the neighbors noticed that my hair was uncombed and I still wore my pajamas. Despite the fact that I know much more about a woman who could be my real friend if we lived in the same state, I know that there are things that she left out. From the comments, I could tell that she has had times of fear, times of suffering that went unspoken or glossed over. I understand why. Some things just can’t be put into print. I know that for a fact. Still, I continue on, trying to be as honest as I can and I know Fishy does too. The question is why? I think it is because we want to say, “here I am” and connect with people beyond our own little ponds. To recognize that the human condition is universal. We all get mad at our spouses, frustrated with our children, afraid for our parents, irritated with our neighbors and even just a little angry at God. In our shared humanness, we find comfort. In our stories of God’s grace, we find strength. And in the kindness of strangers, we find hope.