In the last several days our world has been filled with destruction and devastation. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, and floods. Where will it end? Yet, somewhere amid all the terrifying bad news, we have found moments of hope and peace. We’ve heard stories of victims being rescued by strangers and people leaving their homes and jobs, driving hundreds of miles pulling boats to help. I’ve read numerous prayer requests on Facebook and stories of the miraculous in blog posts. Millions of dollars have been raised to help support the victims of these tragedies.
I’ve never experienced a hurricane or a flood, but I have been through an earthquake and a fire. Both times I was left with nothing. It makes it easy for me to identify with some of the recent victims. I hear the pain in their voices as they are interviewed in the media. I recognize the looks of bewilderment in their faces. And I remember.
I remember a lot of the words people said to me. Certainly, they were trying to be kind and helpful, offering encouragement. But too often the words sounded trite and made-up. “No, you don’t know how I feel.” That’s what my mind screamed while my heart ached.
Today we live in a different world. A world filled with all kinds of communication techniques. We no longer pick up the phone that is attached to the wall or sits on the desk. Nor do we rely on the radio or television for updates. We have smart phones, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. We have blogs.
Blogs can be a valuable communication tool. At CLASSEMINARS we encourage beginning writers to start by blogging. It helps establish your platform. It provides practice, regular, consistent practice. It helps develop your voice.
I read several blogs each week. The blogs I read have a purpose. Some are instructional. I read cooking blogs and crafting blogs and get great ideas. Others are informational. And then you have those that are inspirational.
Blogs offer writers the opportunity to share thoughts, opinions and ideas. Most importantly they can provide a platform to share God’s Word, to offer hope in what seems to be an impossible situation. They allow us to plant one small seed of faith when everything around us seems hopeless.
Blogs can be great tools, but like any of our writing we need to be conscientious with the words and the messages we share, especially in times of trial and tribulation. Here are some suggestions I’d like to share:
Give real life examples and specific scriptures. Get permission to use examples and make sure they are accurate. Avoid passing on stories from the internet.
One of my pet peeves is when a writer does not finish their thoughts. My mother used to say, “Don’t start something if you’re not going to finish it.” Readers cannot read your mind and if they try they are apt to get it all wrong. Provide conclusions to your stories, instructions, etc.
Sensitive may be a better word. People are hurting. Many are fearful and uncertain of the future. Be thoughtful in what you write. Don’t let your words make the pain any worse. God has gifted you with the ability to bring hope to a hurting world. He has challenged you to be light in the darkness. Use your gift for the good of the Kingdom.
As we work through some tough times in our nation your words are more important than ever. Remember what you say matters.