Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Truth or Consequences at the OK Corral (aka Blogosphere)

The words came leaping off the screen like a lion going for the jugular. The force threw me back onto my chair. I realized I was gasping for breath as if I had just had all the wind knocked out of me. If words ever take human form, I think I met the verbal equivalent of Hannibal Lecter or Jason of Friday the 13th, both horror flick dudes. My visitor might as well have worn a mask as he came bearing the moniker 'Anonymous'. So easy to hide behind that disguise! 
It was bound to happen sooner or later given the wild west nature of the blogosphere. Unlike most of my blogging friends, I had not activated the comment moderation feature of my blog. Trust is a good thing, and I trusted my reading public. Till he came along. Sadly, I have joined my wiser friends with more blogging experience. Those of you who have been kind enough to comment in the past will note the addition of that feature if/when you ever post again. (Thank you for your patient understanding as this blog community grows.)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I considered my visitor's attack for several minutes and then decided to exercise my administrator's option by hitting the delete button. It was a sad day. (The only other time I've done so, I was just learning my way around Blogger. I did it by accident and emailed the posters to apologize profusely.) I did not delete on this occasion with a superior snarl or a sense of smug satisfaction. The words did as intended. They made me doubt myself and 2nd guess my journey. When you read them, you will understand why:

Gnostic rubbish... I did this and I did that.. just seeking her own glory. The first sentence begins with " I " and the last sentence ends with "I". All this self-glorying is the opposite of Jn. [John] 3:30" He must increase, but I must decrease."  [American King James version]

After several hours, I realized that good fellow could not have been a regular visitor to this haven for fraidy cats. If so, I think he would have been a bit softer in his approach. Attitudes like his are the very ones that drive folks who struggle with their faith to avoid transparency. Harsh approaches like his drive us to pretend our lives are perfect even when we are in pain and our lives are secretly falling apart. 
Courtesy A. Hughes
This is a SAFE place for fraidy cats. I understand your fear of judgment and your fear that you will never be Holy enough for the people you know as well as the people who wouldn't recognize you if they saw you walking down the street. People like my recent visitor remind me how scary that fear is and how lonely it is when judgment falls upon you despite your best efforts to walk worthy.

My heart grew sad for someone so determined to reproach me via a kamikaze-type attack. Since he was kind enough to point me to a scriptural rebuke, I wonder why he did not think of this verse when he felt the need to put me in my place:

Matthew 18:15 (English Standard version)
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Courtesy A. Squires
I didn't see him coming or going. He lobbed his attack from a home base of anonymity and then ran away. I hear there are folks like him who make that type of blogosphere hit-and-run a way of life. Oh my word. He almost got the best of me. Thankfully, I know myself and my mission far better than does he. So, I soldier on instead of being quieted by the fury of his attack.

I know the truth of my own life experiences and purpose for this blog. I recognize that there will be consequences for my courage in maintaining this blog. Sadly, I will meet folks like my anonymous visitor. That consequence is one I accept even if it requires that I make a slight change to the format of my blog.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Thankfully, I will be far more aware of those of you who have walked with me, come out of the shadows of anonymity, and shared your story as well. When our paths cross and you quietly pull me aside to thank me for sharing my journey, I will remember him. When you tell me about a friend who has never felt worthy to darken the door of a church but is now a regular attender because of my story, I will think of him. When you email me to tell me that you no longer feel alone in your fear, I will remember him. When you tell me your faith is stronger because I have been willing to speak out of my weakness, I will think of him.

This is my blog. It is my story. It is my journey. Ergo...the pronoun 'I' will appear often. Truthfully, there have been many days when I thought of the issue my anonymous commenter raised before he raised it. His point is, if offered in a different voice, valid. As I examined my heart before I met him and since, I sigh in relief. Your responses prove that I have decreased in your eyes as the one who created me he has increased in your hearts. I am glad I met you before I met Mr. Anonymous. :-) I hope you are glad you met me! 


Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Oh, fraidy cat, welcome home. I'm so glad you found this quiet place because the world is so full of people like him. We all need a place to take a deep breath, rest, and know the folks around us know our name. Come back tomorrow, and bring a friend? Love you long and strong. See you soon? 
Timothy 1:12b (NIV)
Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.


  1. It sounds to me at the attacker is much like those who use the "sword" to fire evil darts at others but doesn't embrace the grace to which it so lovingly speaks. Probably an abused person who has become the abuser. I will pray for him. It is hard to look at oneself. It is easier to pick at the things of others. Glad you can look at yourself and trust in the One who is the author and finisher of our faith.

  2. I did conclude the person spoke out of great pain and great fear of admitting it. It is so easy to be 'right' when the mask we wear hides all our imperfections. In my experience, folks like that usually end up having their own words come back to haunt them. Actually, I owe him a thank you...he inspired this post which will in turn let others know I DO understand what it is like having someone tell me I am not good enough.

  3. Heart you, and your blog, dear friend.

  4. Bring on the "I"! It is in hearing about other's journies, struggles and triumphs that we can grow, learn and change in ourselves. Shame on that commenter. But good for you for turning it around and becoming even more confident and proud of what you are doing here!
    Stopping by from Learning Table. Congrats on the blogging award!

  5. Elisabeth and Abbie..that you so kindly.Live and learn...and comment moderation was a lesson I should not have needed to learn!

    Abbie, I saw the Learning Table's award winning blogger for TWO hours today, and she didn't mention a WORD about her award! I'll pop over there straight away! She's due a spanking when I see her again!

  6. Hypocrisy (you know who you are, Dude) is a cruel but quite comforting master.

  7. My sons and I were talking about how hard it must be to live with someone who is so certain about right/wrong that judgement is that easy. Must feel both scary and lonely under that facade....even if only when he is alone and all is quiet!