How many “likes” is best?

1 Like or 243 Likes? Which do you prefer, my blogging pal?

I have been browsing some blogs and am left with this thought: people are essentially good. People I don’t know, have never met, may never ever meet are all essentially wonderful. Some of the posts I have read this morning touched me deeply. There is a common theme in the blogs I follow – the writers I have been connected with – the human beings who share themselves on a page …

Hope, beauty, love and (quite frequently) a personal relationship with “God” (whatever your name for “God”). I am guessing you have been connected as well. I am guessing you have met and know some amazing people through words, picture and music. I am guessing you find community here.

I like the idea of 243 Likes. But I am lazy. Nurturing that many likes seems like hard work. And my gift is not hard work. At least – I think my gift is not hard work.

Hope. Beauty. Love. And something else. Vulnerability. The kind of vulnerability you only get with close loved ones. An important part of your life close-loved-one. Loving and safe vulnerability. I am seeing that kind of stuff.

I like the idea of 1 Like – but prefer the reality of more. It makes me feel better. Safer in my own vulnerability.

And I have no idea of the purpose of this post and the meaning of these words. Other than this.

It is easy to feel under attack. It is easy to feel we are all at war with something or someone. The news has a wonderful way of making us feel part of “the tragedy” – personalising things – bringing them ever closer.

Not because the news cares. It is just how news does things – how news keeps us watching – justifies its web of technology and huge costs across the globe – how it keeps up with the competition.

Those in I.S. probably think we are at war with them, so they must be at war with us. I think that radical Muslims interpret the Koran no differently than radical Christians interpret the Bible. I used to see that in the playground – “I’ll get my Dad on you.”

We seem to think Muslims are at war with us – they started it (obviously) – so we must be with them. Or else they will think we are weak – and then we are stuffed!  And politicians buy-into that groundswell of emotion. It’s how they win votes – how they win power – how they keep power – interpreting the mood of the people.

So I would ask all those who write these posts and blogs to keep being vulnerable – to keep seeing that vulnerability in others –  to keep reading the beauty within each other – to keep reading – to keep seeing – the hope others have burning within.  And to accept that some call all of that “God” – and others don’t.  To allow those who call that God to do so – and to allow those don’t to do so.

I am pretty sure God does not want us all to be at war over all this “God stuff”

Because if I see beauty … love  … hope … and feel safe enough to be vulnerable with you – then we are the light of this world.   We are the flame of goodness – the example for each other – the hope that will keep us alive.  We will be for others what we all see in ourselves – what we all want to see in ourselves – and what we all look for in others.

I want all of us to see the beauty in all of us. To allow each one’s vulnerability to be safe. I want love, community and connection to blossom and flourish and grow.

I pray that we do not need to rip each other apart in our vulnerability. I pray we do not need to tarnish the beauty each of us brings.

Because I see amazing. I see wonder. I see hope. I feel love. And I know that I am safe.

And if we cannot – if we choose not to … then who will?

So I have a friend I call God Soft Hands Jesus – sue me!  🙂

Is that something we need fall out about? Is that something you need to correct me of? Is that something you need to destroy because it does not fit your way of seeing things?

And if you have no such friend, if you have a different faith, if you have no faith, if your beliefs go by a totally different label … should I try and correct you, educate you, destroy you … ? Simply because you do not use the name that I use for Love?

Because you do.  We all do.

We all have our own name for all that is good, beautiful, light … for eternal hope (no matter how jaundiced from time to time).

So I am curious … What is your name for all of that?

(and can we really have more in common that we have in division)

13 thoughts on “How many “likes” is best?

  1. I love this Paul, this idea of being vulnerable. As I enter into this new season of my life, I have done just that.

    I have felt moved for quite some time to start contributing to the world’s more secular blogs, but was so afraid of being judged by other Christians. It really held me back. This fear that if I was my true self, sarcastic, imperfect that it would expose me. But as I step into what God has for me, I realize how true your words are. That we are all uniquely us, that God calls us to evangelize and love in so many different ways and languages, that it’s ok if we don’t agree, that theology is just that theology. I want to run the race that God has set before me with endurance, not gasping for air. Slowly but surely I am easing into my pace.

    Love to you today and thank you for your inspiring words that let me be me.


    • Melissa thank you. Little Monk told of someone who was flirting with the Lord. Always teasing. Never truly committing. One evening they had a raucous Christian comedian as the night’s “fellowship” together in church. The place was rolling around in laughter. Everyone let their hair down and had a great time. Little Monk’s friend said later they wanted to commit to the Lord. Little Monk was a little miffed – until the friend said this: “I know you are a little nuts – but you are just one person. When I saw the whole place roaring with laughter – I knew it was okay – that it wasn’t just you – that I would be okay.”
      Secular is people. And we are all people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am currently reading a book called ‘The Allure of Gentleness’. I think it speaks to what you are saying here. Gentleness is the freedom that comes when you do not need to defend yourself or your beliefs, when you are at peace to offer yourself and source of Hope as a gift.


  3. “It is easy to feel under attack. It is easy to feel we are all at war with something or someone.”

    This statement is profoundly true. Unconditional love is never easy. Forgiveness is rarely uncomplicated. Grace is hardly effortless. Yet these are the things we are – and continue to be – blessed with. These are the things we are called to extend to others – friends, family, neighbors, and yes, even and particularly to others who are our enemies. It is not about liking – never about liking – because liking is different than loving. Liking comes with preferences, restrictions and contingencies.

    Love is wide open, safe, accepting and inviting. Love allows. Love is the answer. ❤


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