As bloggers, we enter into the lives of strangers and an other-worldly phenomena often occurs: community. It is not completely understood by those on the "outside", but "we" get it, often feeling the need to defend it or explain it or justify it to faces that stare politely or indifferently or, at worst, judgmentally.
Loosely held with few boundaries, it is here many are compelled to share their hearts and dreams and hopes and fears. Secrets are revealed, there’s even a site devoted entirely to that. We celebrate the good news of pregnancy and promotion and engagement…or sometimes even a new pair of shoes.
Here, public opinion can be manipulated, political candidates can win or lose, rock stars are born and films may even be re-written to incorporate viewer suggestion.
Perhaps the most beautiful anomaly, though, is overwhelming support during difficult times. Losing a job…divorce…death. For me, personally, I was touched by the readers who encouraged me during my father’s illness and his subsequent death. While I’ll never know most of you irl, your expressions of sympathy moved me, and at times, buoyed me in ways you’ll never know, but truly affected me.
This morning, skimming my reader, I saw Amy Wilhoite’s husband’s announcement that she had lost her courageous battle with leukemia. I had "met" Amy months ago, and with every update I read, my heart hurt for this family who publicly shared her illness and treatment with a quiet dignity and grace. Oh, how we longed for her healing! But, with equal exclamation, I’m stunned yet encouraged by the incredible testimony her entire family has lived throughout her illness. She lived–and died–with a faith that would walk on water…seal the mouth of lions…slay giants. She demonstrated that it’s okay to question, to be frustrated, to hate her disease, but still to love God. That’s power. Leukemia may have taken her life, but it didn’t have victory over her.
And that, to me, is a miracle.
** The post title is a reference to Matthew 25:21, "…well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful…".