September 4, 2021
If you woke up this morning thinking it was a special day, you were correct. I began blogging in 2013, and today you are reading post number 3,000 for this blogsite, fromthedeaconsdesk.com
In addition to the 600+ subscribers that have requested posts be emailed to them daily, the 3,000 posts have received a total of nearly 232,000 “hits” (views) in 147 countries.
Reflecting on my blogging efforts and the cumulative numbers mentioned above, I looked back to why I started this over eight years ago. The response to that question has evolved over time.
When I began, I was newly ordained and I used the blogsite as a way to discipline myself to regularly reflect on scripture. It was me-centered: “I’ll do this for my own personal spiritual growth, and if others want to read it, that’s fine too.”
However, I would occasionally receive an email with comments such as:
- “I feel like you were writing directly to me today. I needed this.”
- “My mom forwarded your blog to me this morning. It gave me a new perspective on a tough issue I’m dealing with right now.”
- “I loved your scripture reflection from Monday so much, we used it to guide our weekly bible study session last night!”
While I had started the blog as a way to keep myself focused and disciplined, I came to realize that my words brought insight, perspective, comfort, healing, or peace to at least a few people. That knowledge affirmed my efforts and strengthened my resolve to continue.
In 2016, five young men from Bishop Chatard High School were in a horrific automobile accident. Three of the boys were admitted to ICU with life-threatening injuries. On this blogsite the next morning, I posted a request that people “storm heaven” with prayers for the boys. Over the next few days, the request was viewed by over 45,000 people in 60+ countries. Heaven WAS stormed with prayers! I learned that the site could be a catalyst; it could provide an outlet for and encouragement of prayer.
Finally, over the past few years, I have viewed my site as a way to fulfill my obligation to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
As baptized Christians, we are called to be storytellers, to share our experience of Jesus Christ. In a world that has become increasingly secular, God needs our help. We must be open to sharing the joy, comfort, and peace that comes from knowing Him. We need to celebrate the role He plays in our lives: Share our sacramental moments with others; embrace and affirm the people in our lives that reveal the face of Christ to us; and be willing to be vulnerable, admitting to the ups and downs of our own faith journey.
As I mentioned, the purpose of this blogsite has evolved: I started it for me; I continued it when the message seemed to resonate with a few others; I later witnessed the power it held when embraced communally; and most recently, I have come to see it as an obligation – my way of evangelizing to a world I believe is hungry for God.
I don’t know how the content and purpose of the site will evolve moving forward. That said, it is my hope that my willingness to “talk about God” will inspire others to share their own stories. In doing so, we plant seeds of hope, a commodity in short supply these days.
Regardless of how many of the 3,000 posts you’ve read over the last eight years, you are appreciated! Please join me in proclaiming the gospel to every creature. May God bless you in those efforts!