The Imaginary Audience

I have been blogging now for a few short months.  Before this, I spent many lonely hours writing a book.  Both make me feel a little silly.  I’ll tell you why.  Here I am on this lovely June morning, typing away for an imaginary audience.  A major part of me would rather be sipping some coffee on my front porch with a friend.   Or picking weeds and fighten’ rabbits in my garden.  Or taking a bike ride with my kids around the neighborhood.  But I am compelled by this burden to write.  Is it healthy?  Is it helpful? Diary keeping and journaling have always been around.  Who was the audience then?  When you kept a diary as a kid, did you ever imagine anyone reading it?  I know I certainly didn’t want my brother, sister, or my parents perusing its pages!  But still, I imagined maybe my 30-year-old self coming back to it one day.  It’s probably stashed somewhere in my parents attic now.  Who knows.  Sometimes it’s just therapeutic to write things down.  I think we all have within us a need to be known, even if the audience is imaginary.  Now I write more purposefully.  I’ve gone public with my thoughts.  My topics are now focused on being a housewife theologian—the gospel interrupting the ordinary.  I hope that my posts are helpful, and can be improved upon by the feedback that blogging facilitates.  So often I feel frustrated in my attempts at more meaningful conversation.  That is what compelled me to write my book, a discipleship tool for women to use in their local church.  My desire is to one day get it published and use this website to unite all the women involved.  But for now, writing can be lonely when you are only sharing with imaginary people. And that is where the gospel interrupts my ordinary—and maybe yours too.  You might not have a hunger to write, but you have a hunger to be known nonetheless.  And all believers share in the privilege of speaking and living in light of the good news that we behold.  In both our joys and our frustrations, we have someone real who is always listening.  Our Lord has blessed us with direct communion with him through prayer.  In this context every word is heard by the one who created us.  Our thoughts are even known.  His Spirit within us not only unites us to Christ, but groans for us on our behalf.  According to our Father’s will, the Spirit intercedes in our weaknesses.  He supplies the words that we cannot express.  How glorious is this?  God works through prayer. I am so comforted by Christ’s prayer for all believers before he gave himself up to suffer and die on our behalf.  In the last part he prays: Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:24-26).  Jesus Christ prayed for our unity with him. And yet we still long for more.  We long for that day when we will meet him face to face.  We want to partake in his beauty that we now only have a taste.  Here we are in the already of the inauguration of his kingdom, and the not yet of its full consummation.  We are given Christ through his word in preaching and the sacraments.  And we are given fellowship with one another as we share our joy and longing.  Before he ascended to heaven, Christ gave his disciples a great commission and promise.  As his church will grow through the means he has provided, we are comforted by Jesus’ concluding statement: And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matt. 28:20b).   We may long for that day when our faith transforms to sight, but we have certainly not been left alone.  Meditation: John 16: 7-15