Sunday, July 14, 2013


One of the first areas of interest I found when the blogosphere was new to me was the existence of many religion-based blogs. Over the years, there have been many that I have subscribed to and then stopped reading. Some died off, some changed format and/or platform, some "lost me" in the midst of their discussions, some I just didn't have time to read because they were "too deep." There are several that I keep on my "Defunct and Hoping" blogroll, just in case.

By sheer happenstance--after posting a photo hilarious sign a former coworker had posted that had some unintentional lewd humor involved--I fell into a marvelous community of women by clicking on the link to the homepage of someone who commented on my pic. Her writing was witty and wise and un-preachy. Because of a tragedy that happened in her community to a member of her church who was also a friend--and serendipitously I also have a friend in that town--I was able to figure out where she worked. I continued to troll her site, occasionally leaving tiny comments, but mostly just enjoying her sometimes bawdy humor and her thoughtful engagement with the meeting of spiritual with mundane life. And she lived in the state just north of me, so I bonded with her 'persona' over a shared fan-love of a certain sports team.

Then...poof...she left a cryptic post on her blog, deleted the old posts, stopped writing...and eventually took down the whole blog.

I was devastated. I trolled the website of her church and soon she disappeared from the list of "employees." I trolled the Bigger Church Group that encompasses her area of the world and found some mentions of her in the minutes and committees. I browsed comments in the online community for months not knowing what I expected to find. I prayed for her health, safety, and (selfishly) her return to Blogland.

Many, many months later, while reading something in the community blog, I happened across a comment from someone with her first name--which she didn't use on her old blog, but because I'm an Ace Researcher, I had found on her church's site (of course). The comment "sounded like" her, and even if her name is pretty common--it's near the middle of the top 100 names of the last 100 years according to the Social Security Administration--I figured I'd click over to this woman's blog. And it was HER! I could tell in the first paragraph of the most recent post that I'd refound the object of my stalking.

So, she went onto the blogroll, and I read back over what she'd written since re-entering the online world, and no she didn't lay it all out about why she left, what had happened, who "did her wrong" or wallow in the painful details. She hasn't ever done that. She has been forthright and honest and discreet and careful, which speaks to her character and is the reason I admire her.

ANYWAY. She recently posted on her blog a 'love letter,' if you will, to the online community of women she's been part of. I read it, and had tears in my eyes by the end for her clarity and exposition of what that community has done to keep her together, hold her safe, and pray love for her. One of the other women replied, in part, "The parish you serve is ... no longer limited by walls.... That stopped me cold. Life went on around me and I clicked out to carry on with things, but couldn't get that comment out of my head.

A day later I went back and wrote what is probably my longest comment to her, letting her know that as the other commenter said, she really has been ministering to me with her words all these years, without knowing that, without necessarily meaning to, but that her grace and honesty and deep conscientious thought even during some dark times has helped me. I posted it. And I felt ludicrous, but there it was.

I finally decided to see if she'd deleted my (potentially creepy-stalker) comment today. Her reply makes my heart sing.

(Another) Lesson (re-)learned: thank people and tell them what they mean to you! It's easy to think that people KNOW how you feel, but mostly they don't. And in this case, can't.


2 thing(s) to say:

molly said...

I enjoyed this post. I'm glad it worked out for your stalkee.

Cat. said...

Hmmm, she's still unemployed after 4 years so I'm not sure about it working out well exactly, but she's got her feet under her now at least.

I'm glad you liked the story. ;-)

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