Who am I as a Blogger?
I keep asking myself this question. When I wrote my About Me page, I knew who I was. But not yet as a blogger.
I’ll likely never meet most of you in real life. Furthermore, you come in all styles and sizes. An unmelted pot of humanity. I don’t know exactly who all of you are. Or who I am in relation to you.
This bothers me. Not because I don’t trust you, but because I feel insecure about letting my Christian faith be too prominent in my blog.
I wonder what that’s about?
Is it my need not to identify with my father—the preacher who treated me poorly yet believed he did it in God’s name? Or maybe I’m distancing myself from others who wear their faith on their sleeves, yet don’t always practice it with grace. Whatever the scenario, I’m determined not to be ‘one of them’! Even though I am.
It seems I don’t want people to dismiss, hate or despise me simply because I’m a Christian. I could write my heart out as a Christian and keep the lid on my faith. I definitely don’t want to be perceived as hateful or overly certain of myself. Because I’m not! I don’t think.
But then there’s this other side.
I want and feel compelled to tell the truth! That’s why I’m writing this blog. I don’t want to be someone in writing that I’m not in person. Sooner or later my Christian faith will be visible. It already is.
I keep thinking about my experience when I graduated from seminary and then went to a secular university for more graduate work. It was the first time since high school that I’d ever been in an overtly secular educational institution.
It took me the entire first year to find my voice. I had to learn a new language—the language of professors and student colleagues in the religion department. I felt lost. It was somewhat like jumping into a blog and not being sure what the common denominators are. Or where the common ground lies. And how to get there and thrive there—without being someone I am not.
So here are several things that seem right, or at least good about the way I’m approaching this particular blog.
- I want a broad audience—not simply a self-selected Christian or other audience that speaks mainly with itself, in its own language and shorthand.
- I want a diverse audience—like the one I seem to be attracting.
- I want to tell the truth about myself openly. Not in secret, or in a language known only to the initiated.
- I want to use my language and my own images, even though they may sometimes disturb others. I don’t consciously use code words that let others know I’m ‘one of them.’ Even though I am.
- I want to create compelling, truthful content. I need help with this. So far, I haven’t been disappointed! I’ve found many blogs with outstanding writing, and have picked up little bits of help as needed. I’ve also been cheered along the way by many of you, Dear Readers.
- I want to talk about things as they are, in a way that’s accessible to you, my readers, who come from multiple backgrounds and perspectives about faith.
Actually, this approach to blogging isn’t crazy. My job isn’t to convert you; it’s to tell the truth about myself, about God, and about this world God loves so much. Good news for all of us.
Yet here’s where some of my Christian brothers and sisters might have a different perspective. The manner in which I tell the truth reflects one of my core beliefs: I’m always communicating with women and men created in the image of God who are potentially my brothers and sisters. Or at least my blogging friends, if not followers of Jesus.
Blogging is still a mystery to me! Yet I’m certain about this: My job is to be who I am—God’s beloved daughter child. A responsible, mature adult woman. Unafraid and unashamed to talk about my Christian faith as a follower of Jesus–how and why I follow, where I struggle, where I fall short, where I find grace, who finds and cares for me (‘good Samaritans’), and who welcomes me home.
Thanks for listening. I needed to say this out loud. To you.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 8 November 2014