You know what's funny about a blog?
The blogger goes through a few phases and I have entered a new one.
First we keep even the fact of our blogging a big secret. It's just a diary we store in a box we can't actually see. We invent personae and cleverly disguise whatever we are talking about, even though no one is reading it because we haven't told anyone about it.
After a time, we let a few people in, and discourse goes in one of a few directions (sometimes overlapping): family holiday letter-style, observational comedy, political rants, work-is-stupid. And we churn out posts, and we start to get excited about this outlet for the things that are on our minds.
Then we start to meet strangers, and their blogs, and that is cool, and also wierd, as the first realization that people we don't know are listening to what's on our minds.
Eventually, we start to think, "I should have another blog where I can write the things that I am thinking about that I don't want people to know I am thinking about."
Here's my new phase: I am thinking about a lot of things that I can't post about -- not because of my privacy but because of yours. Because you know the people who read this blog and I would be posting your recognizable business, not mine. But it is what is on my mind.
I have mostly been thinking about you.
I've been thinking about these challenges you are going through, and the recent talk we had about them. I am always touched by your confidence, and I try to protect it. I am not always sure when this is a thing we talk about, and when I need to be the someone you can be with without having to talk about it . I want to ask how it's going, without making you feel I have labeled you a person who is struggling through something.
God knows we are all struggling through something.
I do pray about your struggle, and I hope that doesn't freak you out to know. I ask for wisdom for me, to carry the responsibility you have given me, and for strength and special care for you.
I don't say much when you talk, and I worry that you think I'm not listening. I don't offer back, "that's like the time I..." and I worry that you think I don't empathize. I don't give advice, and I worry that you think I am not invested in solving your dilemma.
So here's the truth. The truth is I figure it is hard enough to spill your guts without being interrupted; I believe we are talking about you, not me; and advice is not mine to give. You and I don't move through the world in the same way. What I would do, or what I have done, is probably not what you would do. And I have no idea what you should do.
But I am listening. I do empathize. And I am invested in your happiness.
And when I say "this too shall pass," it does not, in fact, mean "good luck with that," or "sucks to be you." It is meant to remind us both that we have been here before and we will be here again. By the grace of God, we'll both be stronger the next time.
Much love to you. Call me.