Gobsmacked!

Shocked. Stunned. Dumbstruck.

Tuesday night I sat down and posted some very deep thoughts on my sleepy little blog page, with the expectation that I was going to spark a little thought and conversation amongst the handful of people who read my stuff, primarily my Facebook friends.  Prior to that post, I had 590 views over several YEARS, and most of those coming from a Twitter bump I received while attending a Compassion Conference a few years ago.

In the first 24 hours since that post, my site had 2800 views!  That blew me away.  Today I’ve had almost 5000.   From over 15 different countries, on every continent except Antarctica.

For one of the few times in my life, I don’t know what to say.  Hence the title:  gobsmacked.  This awesome word can’t be fully appreciated unless you hear it first from a Scotsman.  I had never heard it in my life, but when a co-worker used it in a conversation 6 years ago, I immediately knew what it meant–stunned beyond the ability to speak, or even think.  I think it’s one of the greatest words in the English language, and it is definitely the most appropriate to describe my response to the way my last post took off.

One more word describes my reaction to this amazing response to my posts:  Humbled.

I am incredibly thankful to all of you for taking the time to read and consider what I had to say, and for so many of you–friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers–who thought my words were worthy of sharing.  Pretty much all of the traffic came from Facebook shares.  That’s cool, because I’m a big believer in relationships; however, I’m bummed because I missed out on much of the conversation.

I have, however, received quite a bit of feedback, the vast majority supportive, from people on both sides of the discussion!  That is really cool!  I have to say that I didn’t expect that; I figured those who supported gay marriage would take offense to me asserting that homosexual activity is sin, along with those who don’t believe in YHWH taking additional exception to my Christian perspectives.  I also expected many of my Christian friends to take exception to my assertion that we quit judging homosexuals, and focus on loving everyone.  To my surprise, and delight, even those who strongly disagree with things I have said did so with respect (for the most part).

All of this newfound attention to my writing has been tremendously humbling, and I’m greatly appreciative that each of you thought my message was worth sharing.  The attention has also introduced new challenges:

1) I have had to balance keeping the comments moderated with some degree of timeliness, while doing my day job.  My smartphone got a workout today!  But it was important to me to keep the conversation going.

2) I had to deal with my first really derogatory commenter today–I learned new features of the comment moderation tool… WordPress is pretty intuitive and useful, for any of you who are looking to start your own little worldwide conversations!

3) I now am faced with the challenge of determining the topic for future posts.  I don’t want this to become a “gay marriage debate” blog, or a “Christian doctrine or polity” blog, or a “Greg” blog…  If you took the time to look back on any of my posts, I hope you saw that I try to discuss things that seem relevant to me (at the Holy Spirit’s leading), but I don’t want to preach at those who don’t follow Jesus, because you can find that lots of places.  I want it to be a place to engage each other, to exchange ideas, to consider the perspective of others, not so one can shout down one’s opponents, but instead to seek to understand, even if we respectfully disagree.

Right now, I don’t have a new topic, so I’ll leave you with this:

Thanks.  And God bless you all.  Feel free to check back whenever; my 15 minutes of fame has lasted for almost 48 hours now, but if you want to hang out, talk, ask challenging questions in a respectful manner, then I’ll be here.  If you never make it back, thanks for listening.  You made my day!

Greg.

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