I've had this blog for more than two years now, and I'm going to start today something I should have done from the start.
I don't get many hits, really. A few more than I used to, but still not a lot. And that's fine. I write for me, really. But even if only 20 or 30 people visit my site a day, it's important to think about what they might take away from here. I think whenever someone shares slices of their life online, it's important in a small way because it allows people to connect, to see they aren't alone, to share laughs, to smile, to think, and to sometimes learn. And it entertains. Sure. But I've been thinking a lot about blogging -- what can I say, I'm prone to needless self-analysis? -- and while my feelings on the topic are still all jumbled and unordered, I do know one thing. More often, I could probably use my little corner of the Web to spread the word about causes I believe in. I have only a little voice, but I can use it to do a little more than just go on and on about myself all the time.
The truth is, I'm not sure I blog for the best reasons. There are some good intentions -- to get my own story down so I don't forget it and so that I remember to take the time to reflect on life as it whizzes by. To keep writing, period. To sort out the thoughts clouding up my mind. Sometimes to inform others who might be going through the same thing.
But I think maybe I also do it looking for some weird validation. For some need for attention. I want to get comments, I want to get hits. Basically, I want to be popular. It's like being in seventh grade, hoping the cool kids will notice you, that you'll get sucked into some inner circle and suddenly be relevant. That people will find you funny and interesting and smart and attractive. Realizing that has made me feel a little sleazy, like I'm selling my private thoughts and moments for some return I'm probably not even getting. And that probably isn't worth it.
I'm going to keep on blogging because, although I can't figure out what it is about this medium exactly, I know there is something about it I find authentic and important to this moment in time. And I just can't help myself. But I'm also going to use this space each Sunday to highlight something besides my little life. I do so in the spirit of not really caring if it is the popular thing to do, but just knowing that it feels right. Because I know that I'm not the only one out there wondering how to help, how to serve, where to start. It's easy to feel so small, so unable to make any dent in the world's problems. Sometimes you need a road map, a lighthouse pointing you in the right directions.
And so, that was a big wind up to say a small thing -- maybe not a lot of people are listening to me, but when they do, I want them to hear about something bigger than me sometimes.
For today, I want to point out four worthy organizations I learned about in church. Each of them is trying to follow the gospels in its own way -- to bring hope to people who need it, to bring justice to those without voices, and to feed and nourish those who are thirsty. I'd never heard of any of this groups before this morning. That seems so wrong.
International Justice Mission is a group of lawyers and law enforcement agents who work around the world to help bring justice to people whose voices are often stifled. One big group they represent is widows -- women who live in countries where once losing their husbands they lose their rights.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a group dedicated to helping those dealing with depression, addition, self-injury and suicide find resources to get help. One of the main ways they provide this service is through the sale of T-shirts. They're cute and pretty cheap and, I'd assume, great conversation starters.
The Dream Project is an organization that works with AIDS orphans in Mozambique, providing them clothing, food, medical assistant, education, vocational training and, above all, hope. You can support a child for $34 a month, a little more than a dollar a month.
And finally, 1000 Wells Project is an organization trying to bring clean water to people who need -- about one billion people around the world. If you drink only water for two weeks and save the money you'd normally spend on soda or coffee or whatever and donate it, that is probably enough to dig a new well.
I'll continue Luke's birth story this week, but for now, I thought this was a little more important to get off my chest.