ENTRY: Real People

Entered by Helen Murray

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.

***

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Lucy is a writer and editor based in the UK. She is author of Forgetful Heart: Remembering God in a Distracted World (2014) and Undivided Heart: Finding Meaning and Motivation in Christ (coming 2017) - both published by DLT books.

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Competition ClosesOctober 7th, 2013
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A blog post writing competition on the theme of Christian Writing in a Digital Age.

Entrants should write a blog post reflecting on the theme of no more than 450 words. Each post should include something to do with writing, something to do with faith and something to do with the digital age.

Entries should be emailed to competitions@christianwriters.org.uk.

Deadline is October 7th 2013.

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This blog is managed by Bex Lewis (of the BIGBible Project) and Lucy Mills (of the Association of Christian Writers).

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