Thank You…

Something has happened to my little blog in the last few months. I’m not sure why or how, but it appears that for 4 months in a row, my readership has nearly doubled. In the last 4 months, there have been 1,000 hits! For the previous 16 months, there were 2500.  Now, there are more than 3500.

I don’t think I’m writing more posts than I was, so that means more  people must be reading my posts more often. Given that I don’t advertise — I let my friends on Facebook know it’s there, and a blog out of Pittsburgh links here (Hi, Screaming Weasel!), and I have 7 or 8 subscribers, I probably should have , oh, 20 readers by now. I can’t imagine what has changed.

Still,  I’m honored that people care enough to read what I wrote. I’m beginning to think that my opinion does matter — not that it should take 3500 hits to tell me that.  I write this blog to get things off of my chest, so I never really expected anyone to pay attention. My first blog was about the death of Michael Jackson after I got sick of hearing how great he was when I had stopped caring about his drama or liking his music.  That’s the kind of “high-minded” topics I expected to take on here. It’s become more that — theology, politics, ethics, and the joys in life are all here. I don’t know how it got that way, but here it is. Actually, I’m pretty aware how it got that way. It got that way through a whole lot of thought brought about you, the people who read this.

I hate fighting, and I wished that people wouldn’t argue with me here. I naively hoped I would write and people would admire it as my creation (and leave it at that)  and yet, I also wanted and invited response. I should have known that if you invite challenge, you get it. Oops,and thanks. The man who is probably my favorite musician of all time, Harry Chapin, once said “sometimes words can serve me well\sometimes words can go to hell\for all that they do.”  Writing is not a very precise thing. I have never known how I come across — I just know what I mean to say. Through provocation (by me and of me), I have learned to be more precise and make others be more precise.

The one thing I never wanted this blog to be was pablum.  If you want a superficial treatment of some issue, this is not — and was never meant to be — the place for it. There are  way too many people with way too much heart and way too many brains — and whose lives are too important to have more “sound bites in print”. My clients lives are complex on a good day and my friends are intelligent enough to cope with it. Between them, this is a place for verbal, emotional, theological, political wrestling. Like the wrestling that Abraham did with God, wrestling here has left its mark on me and blessed me.

So, to Rob and Liz and Val, thanks for the quiet support which pops up gently every once in a while and says hello. I treasure your presence. To Cathi and Liz: thanks for showing me how to do this.  Cathi thanks for bringing a whole world of different spiritual challenges to it. I never thought I’d be discussing Christianity or theology with pagans. To  Bob and Joe, I am challenged by your comments and I accept that you are challenged by mine.  Thanks for the friendship which allows me to work it out.  To Jim Classon, who shows up now and then with an incredible note of support, you are a blessing to many. Caroll, I’m glad you read the theology parts and I value your opinions. Dave, same thing. Peace to you, brother. Marilyn Sloth, thanks for caring enough to be hurt. I hope the hurting part doesn’t happen again, though. To all of the other people out there who have written one of the 252 comments, thank you for reading and caring enough to respond. Thanks to Ben Doolittle who called me an intellectual the other day after church. I’m still thinking about it.

I do have one request, though… If you read an article I wrote and you like it, could you let me know?  Down at the bottom of the blog, there are some stars that you can make 1 to 5.   I often get “thanks for writing so-and-such blog”, but I seldom get “I like what you wrote”. If you could do the stars thing, it would give me a little more feedback. because I’m always curious, and my ego can always use a good stroke, assuming that’s what you want to do (the stars don’t go into negative numbers anyway!)

If Helen Caldicott actually reads this blog more than one time, I’m honored. Your comments are welcome here as well.  Lastly, to who ever is reading this in the Czech Republic ( I kid you not), Hi there! I’d love to know who you are, how you found me, and why you read.

This is the long-way-around to saying simply, “Thank You” for reading Like It Matters.



4 thoughts on “Thank You…

    • Carroll: I think that’s the point, but I’m not always sure. Keep up the good work on that paper!

  1. Hey, John,
    Isn’t it freaky? I keep thinking that there must be no more than fifteen people in North America–if not the world–who would have the slightest interest in what I have to write about. And that’s if you include my mother! And yet, people read it, and sometimes they let me know that what I’ve said made a difference.

    I love that (of course) but it’s also a little humbling. (“What? You were listening to me?”)

    Here’s another freaky thing: this is me, correcting you on a Bible reference. Minor point, but wasn’t it Jacob who wrestled with God (or an angel, depending on how the passage gets translated)? The only reason I remember or care about this is because of the name change Jacob gets at that point, to Israel… which, roughly translated, means isrs with El–or wrestles with God.

    To take as a name for a whole people–the people of Israel–something that means “wrestles with God” seems to me to be so profound a thing that it has always stuck with me. And it seems to me that, if we take the Bible seriously, we need to consider what the implications of that are. I think it says God expects us to wrestle, to struggle, intellectually if not physically, with what we’re presented in That Book. It seems to me to be a kind of injunction against the kind of “paralyzing certainty” I see among some kinds of Christians out there–the kind I somewhat uncharitably think of as Bibliolators–and do not see in the Jewish tradition of midrash.

    Anyway. For what it’s worth. And, as always, you make me think. And, as always, I appreciate that–and you.

    • Cathi: I like the fact that you get me — in so many ways, this being one more.
      Re: Jacob — yes, it is him and not Abraham. I thought that, then typed the other. I knew it was one of those partriarchal types…. I still like the story. Your exposition of it is right on.
      My friend Matt converted to Judaism confusing me, but working well for him. He explained that being a Hebrew means what you said. Now I get it, though maybe I used to know that. Anyway, I love the idea of wrestling as part of faith. Or maybe I hate it. It depends on which day you catch me.



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