the three best blog posts ever

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Internet is full of swill.

Family dysfunction played out over Facebook, Christians mocking one another.  Ugly cakes.  Gassy zoo animals.  People falling down or feigning a heist.  The Internet is full of the ridiculous and hideous and hilarious.  We stare into our phones or computers and fully embrace our morbid fascination.  Our appetite for conflict is never satisfied.

The Internet is also an amazing place to learn.  My sons watch an older boy build with Legos, then go create what they have just observed.  I can share with them scenes from the Beijing circus, explain how suspension bridges work, watch a volcano explode.  There are no limits to what you can learn online.  A hundred years ago this kind of information was unimaginable.

But we don't stay online for the Beijing circus or even the relational disasters on Facebook.  We turn on our devices morning after morning because the Internet connects us to one another.  In this way, it is no different from any other form of art.  I listen to the same song over and over because it captures an emotion I recognize, but could never articulate.  I also click on the blogs in my reader not purely to gain information, but because I see myself - or, more often, a person I want to be - in their writings.  I feel a kinship in their words.

The following posts are the best in my mind not because of their brilliance but because they have articulated a deep emotion or experience that resonated with me.  With all three posts, I stared at the screen and said aloud, "Me too!!"

1.  Rachel Evans' Huck Finn Hell
"In hindsight, it all seems so foolish, such an obvious abuse of Scripture. 

...But at the time? 

Sometimes true faithfulness requires something of a betrayal."
I grew up as a good kid in the Bible Belt.  It was not until I was in my mid-twenties - out of college, married, and working - that I realized gay people actually existed - not among heathens, but in my own faith community.  It was a shock to realize that some of the people I loved best and respected most were gay (and had been!  I was so naive).  The answer seems so obvious now, I'm ashamed I ever needed to ask the question.  But at the time I had to decide between religious tradition and love for my friends, who already loved me back.  I will never forget the moment in a friend's apartment when I realized if I was going to be wrong, I was going to err in love.  "Alright then, I'll go to Hell," Huck Finn said.  I did, too.

"You're crazy, you know? Oh my gah. You're so crazy. I can barely handle two. You have four and you want MORE? Oh my gah. You're crazy!"

(Reading over this post again, it really is just an average-for-Missy post, which underlines my point).

I read this post while in the hospital after the birth of my third child.  I remember clearly sitting in the hospital bed, my daughter curled against my chest.  I stared at my laptop while tears streamed down my face.  I have a thing for orphans too.  It haunts me, it keeps me up at night.  I have spent time both with children in foster care and children who should have been, and I can't un-know that experience.  I am no longer sure how this fits into my life, but nothing stirs me up the same way.

Me too, Missy.

3.  Conversion Diary's Getting my Life Back
"... the carrot stick disappeared; that siren song of the self-focused glory days to come when I no longer had children in diapers was silenced, the tension gone. My life as a mom of little ones was no longer in such sharp contrast to my future life without young children: either way, I’d be serving others. I found that this was the meaning of life, the secret to lasting happiness, the hidden key that unlocked the mysteries of the spiritual realm that I’d spent my whole life trying to find."

I spent three years in a Catholic women's small group.  At the time I had just had two children within eighteen months, a difficult recovery from birth, and was dealing with a sick and very fussy infant.  In other words, I was miserable.  My Catholic friends taught me how to embrace that difficulty as a worthy - even valuable - part of life.  In her post Jen Fulweiler articulates beautifully the same lesson I learned during that time.  It helped me to accept the demands of motherhood, and to find beauty and meaning in my daily life.

What about you?  What online art has resonated most deeply with you?  What posts would you include in your "best ever" list?


  1. Mark K. here, Fr. Chris shared your blog with a few of us at HTA. I am enjoying your posts. I had a great time hanging out with Brian last night. Peace.

  2. Hand to God one of my very favorites is your post about no more gold stars after 2nd grade. what I've learned'

  3. Having troubles with technology tonight...sorry for multiple random and deleted comments. I can't pin down one post, but I always love Rachel Held Evans and Jen Hatmaker. They always seem to put words to what I feel about the world.



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