Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Real People

Here's my entry for the ACW/BigBible #DigiFaith competition 'Christian Writing in a Digital Age'. 
It didn't win, but I'm delighted with my 'honourable mention'. I also received some precious feedback, for which I'm very grateful. 

So, waste not, want not, here's my entry:

Real People

I am alone. Just me and my computer.

Correction: there are two of us.  Jesus and me.  He sits next to me and He helps me bring the words out of my head. He sees my heart and he holds me tightly when I pour it into my writing. Joy, pain, hilarity, confusion. He inspires me; patient when I have to work hard to find my words and cheering me on when I can’t get them down fast enough.

He understands that I sometimes don’t know what I think or what I feel until I express it and He’s happy when I find peace by laying it all in front of Him. He laughs with me, cries with me, and He never leaves me.

I press ‘Publish’. It’s a personal thing, an intimate thing. Just me and Him.

Correction: The two of us and two billion internet users.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have two billion visitors to my blog, though the spam sometimes feels as if I do. What I have done in that quiet, understated moment with the ‘Publish’ button is post the contents of my heart by a thoroughfare where any of those millions of people might pass by.

Some do.  A few stop to read. Some of those realize what I’m about and back away rapidly. Some look and sneer; engage for a while then melt away to find other battles to fight.

A few reach out and take the hand that I’m holding out.

And those people are just as three-dimensional as I am. I might never meet them in person, but they are real, and their lives and struggles are real too. Sometimes that reality is reflected in my words and they might emerge from their anonymity and whisper, ‘Me too.’  When that happens my heart mends a little and our hands hold each other a little tighter.

Sometimes my new friends and I laugh together, for ‘Me too’ moments don’t only happen in times of angst or anguish. We compare notes and exchange wisdom. Much has been said about the superficiality and banality of online life but I have found the reverse; if you are real, you find real people. If you are honest, you are met with honesty. If you offer encouragement, you’re encouraged.

And Jesus smiles. He’s outside time, so moving with it is no problem. He knows the person behind each avatar and it’s as easy for Him to introduce us digitally as it is in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket.

He loves that He can bring together sisters and brothers from all over the world. It’s His Kingdom, and we are family, even behind our screens.

Read all the other entries at the DigiFaith website.


  1. Reaching out to take your hand Helen, and thankful for online friends too.

    1. Helen, thank you! I'm giving it a squeeze. :-)

  2. Thanks, Helen - I love the honesty and open-ness that comes across in your posts - and how the presence of Jesus pervades everything you write. Blessings, F. xx.

  3. Thank you, Fiona. Congratulations on your second place!

  4. I just started blogging and this is exactly what I feel like. It still unnerves me a bit to think that I'm publishing my personal thoughts for people to see... and sometimes I get confused about my motive (like am I doing this because it's honest or am I doing this because I want people to understand me - selfish motive). But when there is at least one person who connects with it and who draws strength from it, who draws closer to God because of it, then I think that's the point.

    1. Yes. That's exactly it. Thank you for reading and leaving me a 'Me too' comment. All the best with your blog!


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