Tuesday, February 17, 2015

When You Don't Know Who is Responding

This experience of sharing my work publicly and looking for feedback on the ideas we have put forward resulted in a very interesting interaction. I posted a link to my "Second Waver" article and stated that it was an undeveloped idea and that I was open to hearing different ideas people had about doubt and faith. I received good feedback on Facebook (including one of my close friend's delivering the commentary I was expecting: "Look everyone! Nick's a Blogger!"), but the most interesting response was left on the blog page by someone I do not know. His response was lengthy, but here are some highlights:

"Thanks for posting this. It's honest and authentic. I've know for as long as I can remember that i don't believe. On my mission I found a way to believe but it involved twisting my mind in such a pretzel that I suffered from crippling anxiety attacks...

"I imagine the struggle of gay members to parallel mine. "If I just try hard enough, am perfect enough, God will fix me" I saw my doubt as an affliction to be healed just like some see their sexual orientation.

"8 years ago I stopped asking to "know the church is true" and tried a different quest. "Help me know truth". I saw this as the final ingredient. The "real intent". Maybe God never answered me before because I wasnt willing to leave if I found out it wasn't true. I found different truth. And a place to still my mind. It wasn't in the church. It was in objectivity and intellectual honestly. For me I finally found something I could "know". I could "know" I didn't believe...

"I don't presume that everyone else are closeted non-believes or delusional. I know so many men that I admire that are smart and articulate and moral and honest and authentic. They stay and say they believe. I believe that they do...

"I don't know why I wrote this. I guess your article seemed honest and real and gave me some hope that I'll be ok. thanks for sharing."

To me, this was an incredible response, and I was happy to have connected with the exact audience that inspired me to write this in the first place. I felt the pain of this good man's struggle against his logic and search for truth. So on the one hand, I think this piece has been successful in that it addresses an issue that is so real and deep for wonderful people who often feel like they live on the outskirts of their own community.

On the other hand, I do hope that I can find a way to connect these thoughts to faith promoting thoughts more effectively. I don't mean to change people necessarily, as this issue is an exclusive ordeal between an individual and God, but I would love to be a resource for faith.

Asking for specific feedback helped, as well as revising my writing and reaching out to "non-homies," but this experience has made me want to be a better thinker and writer for the sake of people looking for relief through reading. This was a powerful experience for me.


  1. I appreciate how you realize the reality of your writing. That it can be a way for people to find or discover their own faith, but it won't necessarily change that person. I really liked how you said 'a resource for faith'. I also think this comment that you shared is way intense and really personal. I'm impressed that he shared such intimate details of his beliefs and even more impressed (as you should be as well) that your writing is what provoked his response. That's powerful.

  2. That was an awesome response! Sometimes it's surprising to see who we can reach out to these days with all of our options in technology.

  3. This was awesome to read!its refreshing to see that this is not just writing but also a way for others to learn and understand a deeper idea. Your comments really touched me because it rings with so much truth. Thanks for going out and really posting something personal.