Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blog hearts knit together in love

I love to see the interaction of women in this blogging community. I've only been a blogger myself for a couple of months, but I have witnessed some beautiful sharing of support and understanding. My first experience was in happening upon the blog of a young mother who had recently lost a child. She opened herself so generously and with such grace in her writing that I began to feel as if I knew her in a "real world" sort of way. Apparently, so did others, and the number of people flocking to read her posts has grown daily. It's clear that they visit the blog both to nurture and to be nurtured, at a deeply spiritual level.

Within a week or so of finding my first "blog friend," I became aware of other young mothers in the same circumstance who had found her as well and were now meeting and supporting each other. They continued to share with all of us on their regular blogs and then formed an "angel" blog, where they limited the readership to grieving parents, basically forming an online support group. At this point I believe some of them have even gotten together in person. No doubt it's wonderful to be able to look into the eyes of a parent who really knows what you're feeling. I thought this was a perfect example of "Wherefore, comfort yourselves together, edifying one another, even as also you do" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Finally, you're probably aware of Stephanie Nielson, whose blog has delighted readers all over the country and whose recent plane accident and subsequent burn injuries to her and her husband have given birth to a veritable army of bloggers actively raising money for hospital and rehabilitation costs. Support for the extended family began as emotional and spiritual support (which has continued) and became financial and temporal support. How inspiring that well over $100,000 has been raised by people from all walks of life and all levels of financial ability or disability...and in a time of economic recession! It has lifted my spirits every day to be reminded what people are capable of doing for one another in a world where, too often, the eye and heart are focused inward. (I am not exempt from this tendency, by the way.)

So here's what I'm thinking. We can help each other like this in the "real" world, too. Granted, some of us are pretty good at helping our friends, but I'm thinking about the friends we haven't made yet. We can give them what they need as well. Here's the catch, though. They have to help us, too...help us know what their needs are...and maybe that's not so easy to do in person. It certainly does take a leap of faith. On a blog, we feel kind of anonymous. Maybe we can express feelings or needs that we wouldn't normally put out there. The thing is, if we did manage to put them out there, as we more easily seem to do in the blogosphere, we'd be giving others a better chance to know us, care for us, and "be there" for us (and vice-versa).

I'm not saying it would be easy, but (to coin a phrase) it just might be worth it.

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