Although my hubby reads my blog (I think. Hubby? Hello?) he has often made fun of me for blogging and reading other blogs. What I’ve tried to express to him is that the blog world is such a great encouragement to me and others, especially women and moms. It’s this amazing network of people that encourage and uplift one another.
Well most of the time anyway.
I’m not sure why I’ve just noticed lately, because I’m sure this has been happening since forever, but it seems that there are alot of situations on blogs that create tension and arguments over opinions and statements made. And I’ve been asking myself lately, is there no grace to be given in this wide world of blogs?
I think the reason I’ve noticed this more lately is because I was directly impacted by this lack of grace. Now please keep in mind, I’m preaching to myself here. Every day I ask God to help me to offer grace to others. And so I’m not sharing this to complain about anyone but just so you know where I’m coming from.
There is a blog that I read that is beautifully written by a young woman whose son was stillborn. She has shared so eloquently and honestly about the journey she has been on. I’m usually not a big commenter on blogs but one day she posted something that really hit home to me. It made me take a step back and realize that there are many times throughout the day that I am not thankful for my children and don’t cherish every single second.
And so I told her this. I said “Thank you for helping me realize the importance of not taking my children for granted…” or something like that. I know I thanked her but I can’t remember the exact words. I was really touched by her post. She really did help me and I wanted to sincerely thank her.
A few days later I was reading another post of hers and the comments that people had left. I noticed someone had apologized for a comment they had left on the previous post. Hhhmm, very very interesting. I go back to that last post – the one I had commented one – to see why she apologized.
She had left the same type of comment as me, thanking her – only was specific in talking about “whiny kids”. Well after her comment, and after my comment, someone else had left a comment chewing both of us out for being insensitive (and frankly stupid) for leaving the comments that we did.
I was so taken aback by her comment I started crying. How in the world did she interpret my comment to be insensitive and mean and inappropriate? Is that how the author of the blog felt? I was THANKING her. Isn’t that what her blog was always about? Helping other moms appreciate their babies? And then after being hurt for awhile I got mad. And yes I was embarrassed. Why couldn’t she have just emailed me? Why did she have to call me out in front of the entire world – especially for something that wasn’t blatantly mean or insensitive.
Well I did leave another comment apologizing – but honestly it probably wasn’t a very sincere apology. I didn’t exactly know what I was apologizing for. I know that I can’t understand this blogger’s pain but I was just trying to thank her for saying something that touched me.
To top it off a few days later I received word that someone had completely misunderstood a blog post that I had written. They didn’t come to me unfortunately but went to someone else who came to me. It was like the blog world was crumbling right before my eyes. Ok, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration!
Ever since this happened to me I’ve noticed that this happens all the time on other people’s blogs. Especially the big blogs. They are chewed out all the time. People take offense to what they write or what a commenter says and another comment is left that is cruel and harsh. Just yesterday I was reading a blog I read every day and someone totally freaked out over something that blogger had said in her post. It’s got me asking – is there no grace in the blog world today? Can we not put ourselves in other people’s shoes and not take things so personally? I know, I know. When you write for the public you need to expect to be critiqued. And people will disagree. I’m not saying that’s not ok. But can’t we critique and disagree in a kind and loving way?
And I think I can say with 100% assurance that this lack of grace applies in the “real” world too – not just the blog world. Every day we are faced with situations – do we offer grace? Or do we react harshly and with unkind words? I KNOW there are situations that don’t apply to this. That need to be addressed with stern words. But there are so many others that can be handled with grace and a realization that no one is perfect, we all make mistakes and it’s ok to give someone the benefit of the doubt.
After all, haven’t we ourselves been offered that same grace and forgiveness? Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can be forgiven when we commit our lives to Him – and we deserved the punishment! We don’t even deserve to receive grace or forgiveness from this holy, perfect, loving God but He offers it anyway! I will never forget the day I came crawling back to Him. After wandering in my sin and shame for a year and 1/2, feeling like the scum of the earth, making choices that hurt Him and everyone else in my life. And yet He welcomed me with open arms and told me He loved me and forgave me and made me whole. He said the past is gone – as far as the east is from the west – and He offered me a new start. A new day. A new hope.
Whether it’s the blog world or my world or your world. Can we not offer this same grace to others? Ironically, it’s only by God’s grace that we can.