There are candles on the tables and the room is dimly lit, pillows along the wall and chairs with women, bent over their journals or over their hands, some sobbing and others just writing.
It’s Allume, and I’ve signed up for the prayer team and for weeks God’s been pleading with me to see the unseen while I’m there—even though God doesn’t beg, my husband says, and it’s true, but it was the urgency of his voice to me, to not get distracted by names but to see the faces of those who feel alone.
And there’s one woman over in the corner. She’s not crying, but she’s not writing either. My friend and I walk over to her, and she smiles at us. We ask her if she wants prayer and she begins to weep. To shake, and convulse and we hold her and she says, “I just can’t believe it…. Everyone is being so kind. I can’t believe people would know my name. I can’t believe they would want to have lunch with me. No one’s ever done that for me, before.”
I’m kneeling beside her and seeing the little girl who’s been forgotten, whose own mom and dad have ignored her, who’s been alone at recess her entire life, whose only way of finding friends is a via a cyber world where avatars don’t show the whole picture.(tweet this)
And I hold her and I beg for her forgiveness, on behalf of all women everywhere, for not seeing her before. For not asking her to lunch before, for forcing her to cry herself to sleep for years, for standing by while she was picked on and chosen last, for not caring about her just because her name wasn’t on a bestseller or a blog with a million followers.
And this is what I learned at my first blogger’s conference.
- We all worry no one will want to have lunch with us.
- We all cry ourselves to sleep some nights.
- We all get nervous before walking into a hall full of 450 women because what do they see that I don’t? Is my shirt on backwards? (Mine was one day—I realized it when I was going to bed) Does my breath stink? Do I look as lonely as I feel?
- No matter how many bestsellers we have, it’s never enough because the world—even the Christian marketing world—tells us we always need to do better. To sell more. And it trains us to compete, both against others AND ourselves and this keeps us from ever truly loving anyone.
- Everyone looks the same when they’re in pajamas and watching a movie about motherhood together and missing their babies back home.
- That kindness undoes every single one of us—a compliment, an invitation, a glass of water or a hand on a shoulder—it speaks to all of us because we’re all that little girl who’s wanting her mom or dad to look up from what they’re doing and see us, or wanting someone in the playground to see us, or to not be chosen last for once.
- It doesn’t matter whether you have one follower or whether every post goes viral, you still wonder if anyone knows your name.
I’m home now and blogging again, and it’s back to trying to find the perfect words and the perfect picture and to post as many times as possible to get as much traffic as possible to someday get the book deal to get the speaking engagement to get the television interview which will finally make us feel known, and I’m done.
Not done as in, I’m not going to write anymore.
But I’m done with striving so hard, because it’s keeping me from abiding in a love I’ve already been given.
I’m done because I’m already known and seen by a God who begs me to see others. To love others because he wishes so badly he could be visible and physical and he uses us to do that. To let his children know their Abba Father is looking at them and seeing them and saying I WANT TO HAVE LUNCH WITH YOU, every day, for the rest of your life, and that’s not enough—I want to know every single hope and dream you have, I don’t care if you have broccoli in your teeth or if your shirt is on backwards or if you don’t ever get a single follower or book deal or speaking engagement or television interview. Because all I want is for you to know how much I love you.
It’s the greatest love story, of a father who sacrifices everything for his child, and we’re missing it. Even as Christians—we’re missing it.
So here’s my challenge to us: How do we blog in a way that SEES others? (tweet this) That puts others first? That creates a safe place for people to come home to?
Because this is what being a Christian blogger is all about. About us becoming LESS, even if we need to stop writing altogether in order to do so, and about Christ becoming MORE.
That’s the only thing that matters.