Running Away from my Blog
I quit blogging.
I tried first to start over; I created a new domain, made my profile more obscure, turned off all the automatic publishing features. A few posts later, my fingers froze and refused to type.
Fleeting thoughts of funny blog titles drew me to the keyboard, but nothing happened. With certainty I can say that it was not writer’s block. I had a million things I wanted to put in print, but my brain and heart no longer found common ground; unable to reconcile with one another the what with the why.
Something about blogging felt prideful. All the “special features” felt less promising and more like a desperate cry for attention. “Hey Facebook, Twitter, Google+, the faceless man who Freshly Presses things: I blogged . . . did you see it? . . . did you?”
Something about blogging felt like an open forum for criticism: from all the English Majors anxious to point out my spelling errors or critical readers who disagreed with the definition of my own life.
I quit blogging because I felt misunderstood, misinterpreted, and judged. I quit because I began to worry that people were weary of my opinions, unimpressed with my expression. I quit for all the same reasons I tried to quit Church.
Most days, I just wanted to talk about God, about things that are hard and hurtful, about questions that have no answers nor need them. I desired nothing more than to speak with brutal honesty and painful transparency; to find humor and camaraderie on days otherwise marked with loneliness and the sadness of life. I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t express why. . .
I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find it on WordPress or Sunday mornings.
Then a few weeks ago I ran a 24-hour relay. My assigned legs ranked the hardest of the race. A fact emphasised by a 3-mile detour on my second stretch. My final leg brought with it a 3.5 mile uphill followed by 3 miles at a rapid decline. Scorching temperatures did nothing to ease the brutality.
Coming down the final mile I spotted a gentleman I knew. He zig zagged slowly. “You okay,” I huffed.
“No,” he winced, “can you get my team and have them come back for me.”
Usually more fond of fat and happy pace, I pushed my legs into a quick stride and headed to the transition area. Finding his team I put everyone on alert that someone was coming in questionable condition. Two ER doctors and an anesthesiologist (unrelated to one another) pressed into the transition zone ready for action.
As I turned, water in hand, to head back up the hill to my friend, a stranger came stumbling into the transition zone collapsing into the arms of a crowd who waited for him. Nobody knew he was coming, yet they were ready. I unwittingly had sounded the alarm.
He was a young man, on a team who scarcely knew him. He had put nothing into his body but water . . . too much water. He literally drowned his electrolytes, and then pressed his body to perform in a temperature that demanded any remnants.
The middle-of-nowhere backdrop offered no cellphone service bringing on a sort of slow-motion chaos. His heart beat was nearly silent, his eyes forced open and blank, his body shook under a forceful seizure that lasted for what felt like an eternity. The physicians, whose presence once seemed divine, were helpless without the ice and IVs they needed.
I stood afar off, with the man who I had gone up the hill to save. He was suffering from a bit of heat exhaustion, but recovering in spite of my rudimentary first aid skills.
Runners continued to pass through the transition, distracted momentarily by the scene, but most ran on — undeterred from their own race. Then a runner stopped. She was a nurse. A nurse who thought it might be a good idea to purchase and pack a couple of IVs . . . just in case.
Over 15,000 people participated in that relay. The course was over 200 miles long. Yet a young man who needed IVs was in the same place at the same time as the one woman who thought to bring them. It was a spine tingling collision of circumstances where the simple presences of one life saved the existence of another.
Today I blog for the same reason that I go to church; life was meant to be lived in community. We all have something to offer; a bit of advice, perspective, wisdom. God has packed our lives with comfort and compassion, empathy and experience And our lives are designed in such a way that they might intersect with the very people who need to hear what it is that we have to say. The gifts we possess are not for hording. We are not meant to run through, we are meant to stop.
We must reach out, coexist, run the race — embrace community. We both need and are needed.
I may never change the world with my words. I may never even gain another reader or follower. I may never fully feel like Church people understand me. But I am learning that it is less about being followed and more about putting myself out there in hopes of spine tingling moments where I have to offer exactly what another life needs. I am learning that it is less about being understood and more about finding common ground.
So I Blog on. And my husband, the Pastor, is glad that I have decided to give church another chance.