I've been wondering lately what it is about blogging that is so nourishing and so deeply satisfying. I visit the pages of people I have come to love and admire through their stories and through their writing and I feel myself saying, "yes, I understand." But even more than understanding them, I somehow feel understood myself. I recognize something of myself in their lives. Reading what they have to say helps me to learn who I am and who I am not. Today, when I stopped by Bella's blog, I found that she had given me an award, a gift. She passed on the You Make My Day award, and that's a curious thing to me since receiving it made my day.
As I think about passing this on to others, I'm pausing to reflect on what exactly it is in the writing of these people that excites me. What is it that I'm looking for when I visit? It's not necessarily pleasant feelings although that's always nice. Sometimes when I knock on the door of these pages I am greeted with massive struggles. Sometimes in the process of looking in on the lives of others I bump up against some sadness or anger or even stretches of harsh desert. If they tell it well, in a voice that belongs uniquely to them, I will probably experience some of those same things. I will search my own story for the places that fit what they are describing. It might bring to the surface things that are buried. I might not appreciate this at first. I might not immediately recognize this gift they are giving me. But soon enough this gift will pour out its treasures and I will feel the gratitude.
I want to pass on this award to Christianne and Kirsten. Their stories have done what all good stories do. They have let me know that I am not alone. They have held up a mirror so that I can see myself more clearly. They have shared honestly in a way that gave me permission to speak even when it might cost me something. And by following their line of vision, they have pointed me to God. Thank you.