If you want to make God laugh, tell Him you’re closing your blog. Because He will fly to Australia, disturb your favorite Australian blogger, and the great Sue Elvis will send you the prestigious “Catholic Writer Award.” Then, Bob Blog (the king of the blogosphere) will show up at your front door, make you second guess yourself, ask a bunch of nosy questions and take away your padlock.
Let’s rewind. So there I was typing at 5:30 in the morning, pressured by lots of June deadlines, female hormones wondering if I should give up blogging to concentrate on novel-writing or article-writing when my doorbell rings. It’s Bob! Mister Bob Blogosphere.
“It’s the Feast of the Visitation today,” Bob says. “I’m going to take you to Mass while everyone is asleep.”
As we drive over to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, I feel excited about the rare experience of going to a Mass without little ones. Surely, Bob isn’t going to interrupt my contemplation for a potty break.
|The Shrine from last year's picture.|
When we settle into a pew, Bob whispers. “I want you to listen to his homily because its tailor made for your questions.”
“Bob, I already have my answer. I’m closing the blog indefinitely.”
“Not that question. The other question: when you asked yourself why you bother blogging about Jesus and Mary when you could easily write about a bunch of other things like “color-coordinated closet organization,” “how to teach your three year olds to read,” and “what happens when you kill your mother-in-law's plants.”
“How did you know I asked those questions?”
“My wife Birdie Blogosphere told me. Now pay attention.”
|Courtesy Stained Glass Inc|
After Mass is over, Bob drives me back home. “I want you to listen closely to the homily tomorrow, too,” he says. “There’s more to the story.”
|Courtesy Stained Glass Inc|
At the Mass of the Ascension, our pastor remarks about the first reading where St. Luke, a physician, was unexpectedly asked to write about Our Lord. “We’re not all writers or communicators,” he says, “but like St. Luke we are tasked with evangelization. We have been given the Spirit to preach our faith though many of us may hem and hew about witnessing. Today, ask God to show you what is it that is blocking you from sharing God’s word effectively.”
When the house is quiet and the kids are in bed, Bob knocks on the door again. “Have you given your blog anymore thought?”
“Yes, actually,” I say. “The problem about writing on the internet is the tendency to gauge the efficiency of your message through stats, shares, followers, likes and comments. Most people will think this is an advantage but not to me, it isn’t. I’m human so I judge the success of my words by human standards. One day my posts get featured on Spirit Daily, next post, I lose followers. But God tells me very specifically “God looks into the heart, not the appearances.” He tells me to write with charity always. He tells me to write with a fiat like Mary and that the words “My soul magnifies the Lord” should be the only goal and reason for my writing. If I am only worried about quantifiable results and instantaneous conversions, that’s a sure sign I’m writing for the wrong reasons. I don’t have to write about God all the time, but I have to write for God all the time.”
“Very good,” Bob says. “Sometimes God keeps a lot of things hidden for a purpose, and sometimes the fruits of your labor won’t be manifest until much later in the future. But your reward will come someday, and then you will thank God that He didn’t show you everything. It keeps you from pride, and enhances the merits you gain.”
“Thanks for dropping by, Bob. But its getting late.” I yawn and close the door. He puts his hand out to stop me.
“I didn’t come just to chit-chat,” he says. “I’m here to give you the Catholic Writer's Award from Sue Elvis. It’s 3:00 PM in Australia, she didn’t realize it would be midnight in Alabama. ”
“SUE ELVIS? The Sue Elvis? With the gorgeous red hair, funny blog, and amazing writer whose interview with you made me laugh?”
“Yes. But there is a catch to the award. If you truly are a Catholic writer, then you must give the keys of your keyboards to God. You write when He inspires and whatever He inspires. You can take breaks, He doesn’t want exhausted bloggers either. But you have to remember the wonderful friends you’ve made online who have helped you in your walk of faith. Visit with them, encourage them, learn from them. They are like the Marys and Elizabeths of your online life.”
“Thanks for everything, Bob. Frankly, I think this is all a weird dream and I’m probably going to wake up soon. But before you go or I wake up, can you please pass on this award to Terry, Marcia, Connie, Karen, Mary, Gina, Heidi, and Jenny?”
P.S. Melanie who made up the award didn’t make any rules of how to give and receive it. So you can pass it on without much ado to encourage a Catholic writer of a blog you love. Or however you want to.