This weekend, for the first time, I met (in person) a reader of this blog who I didn’t know in real life before they ever started reading here.
I was slightly nervous–was it a set up? But I was the one who proposed the meeting, and besides, this blog is too small to be a very lucrative target for Antifa. So I packed my wife and son in the car and drove off on an hour-and-a-half trip to reach the home of someone I’d never met, exchanged only a few emails with, and knew precious little about.
I’m glad I did.
And if I find another willing reader within a 2-hour drive, I will do it again.
The conversation was interesting–I learned a little about the theology of a denomination I was unfamiliar with, and discussed current events and overarching themes facing Christian men in the US. We talked about building the future, and I was intrigued to learn that the site that had started him on the link-chain that eventually led to my blog, was a site that I had only discovered in the past year.
But the best, the most encouraging part of all, was not the conversation itself, but what I observed around me put together with a few comments made as asides. I watched a half dozen well-dressed and well-mannered children entertain themselves quietly. One of his sons sat listening to a large portion of our conversation. His wife mentioned at one point that their oldest son had shot a deer this past fall, showing that he is passing on valuable skills to his children. The large garden also testified to this.
When we were getting ready to leave, and discussing various Christian denominations, my host commented that perhaps someday one of children would become a Lutheran, and that he could live with that–but that he would see to it that none of them would become feminists. It made my soul smile. This man is making a difference in the world, one only needs to look at his children to see it.
If you are a reader here, you may sometime feel alone, like the only others with your values are on the internet. I know I’ve felt that way at times. But the truth is that there may be a family only a few miles away that feels the same thing. You may be only a few minutes drive from someone else that reads the same blogs, and is fighting the same battles.
I wish that I could help you to connect with others in your area. BCB could make it easier, as it requires you to list a location (city only) when you sign up. But eventually it comes back to you. No one can find you if you keep your location a secret. I believe that in-person networking is the necessary next step towards actually making a difference in the church and in the world. Our network of anonymous online voices needs to be supplemented by a network of men who know each other even as they are known in the real world.
This will be one of my goals in the coming year–to build my real-world network. My location is listed on BCB, look me up. Contact me if I’m close to you. If not, perhaps another blogger or reader is close to you. A real-world ally is worth more than several internet-only ones.