When I started this blog I was really new to this whole “online brand” thing. I thought all you had to do was create a page, give it some nifty, trendy title that includes a pop Christian buzz word (like “grace”) and people I didn’t know would flock to it.
When they clicked on over from wherever in cyber space they found my link, they would read the entertaining musings of a unknown pastor. His very intricately and detailed life experiences would strangely mirror their own but he would stay a disembodied soul without a name. They would rush to their social media accounts to share the link, and through it, the experiences of this poor, faceless pastor stuck in a church somewhere in America whose life is full of grace.
Online brands don’t work that way. It turns out, you have to share the link first, which means you are effectively branding yourself through your family and friends and parishioners. This means 90% of people who click over here know who I am, where I am and, unfortunately, who to complain to if they don’t like my writing. Strangely, the random compliments at conferences and events make me the most uncomfortable. Seriously people, these posts are not that great!
I bring all this up to say that sometimes I experience things that are chock full of grace but still cannot be written. After all, I am a pastor bound by confidentiality clauses and desires for privacy and good common sense.
Several times in the last months I have sat down to write about an experience I had, only to finish half the post and realize, “I can’t post this for oh so many reasons.” The people involved know who they are. The people not involved know who the people involved are. Their are too many ways that the post could be misread as offensive (though I never intend it). Mostly, my interpretation of the “grace” in their lives would be unwelcome, especially in a public forum.
I wrote such a post this morning and it hurt to delete it because God’s grace was so evident. Instead I decided to post about that post as a reminder to myself and all of you that some things don’t need to be written, just appreciated.
Even though I can not write about these graces I can still pray about them. I can still think over them and ponder them anew in my heart.
That last phrase reminds me of the Virgin Mary whose humility is a hallmark of the advent season. After the wonderful birth of the savior, sung by angels and praised by shepherds, she did not join the shepherds in proclaiming the good news, “but she treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
In closing, I would welcome you to join her, in praying over the unwritten and hidden grace in your life. Count your many blessings and ponder anew the love of our God and treasure it up in your heart.
Have a graced Sunday!