You are a number. Seriously, except for one reader, I don’t know who you are. On my screen, you pop up merely as a number. However, I know a few things about you because as your tally appears on my blog stat screen, several other things occur at the same time.
Let me give a bit of background before revealing exactly what I know. (How’s that for a teaser?) 😉
My writing mentor suggested I begin making myself known as a writer. Those who know me personally realize how uncomfortable that suggestion makes me. I don’t believe I am unlike most other writers, though. Most writers have a message to deliver and would be perfectly content to remain anonymous as long as our message could receive attention.
But when an editor makes a suggestion, it’s best to pounce on it. I have been laboriously submitting small articles to various periodicals with varying degrees of success. I have received the customary “your submission does not meet our needs at this time” rejections. I expect them. All authors receive them. But a couple submissions remain in the hands of publishers, awaiting printing or being held for future consideration. This process, exciting as it is, requires a great deal of time.
Then, there’s blogging. When it was suggested, I did not completely understand it. I was fearful of even clicking on a blog site, thinking it might entail a cost, enroll me in a club, or enable the whole world to see my personal information. (I’m a techno-coward!) I began investigating the mysterious world of blogging.
I soon discovered WordPress. This site assists a novice in setting up a blog. So I borrowed the title of a book I intended to write and plunged into the process. Much I still do not understand, but I’ve learned enough to present my message. I’m a blogger. A real live blogger! Whoopee!
WordPress offers the ability to track my progress, so each time I log on, I study my stats. That’s how I know you’re there. WordPress automatically gives me some specific information about you. Do you want to know what I know?
Well, when you click onto “Ironing the Preacher’s Shirts,” the number of visitors to my blog goes up by one. Seeing those numbers slowly climb encourages me. Not only does your visit add to my visitor count, but each post you read also adds a tally to my view count. I love watching this number. You count as only one visitor, but your number of views could be higher.
WordPress also indicates which posts you read. Although the most recent post usually receives the most views, I usually see increased viewing on several posts. The older the post, the less views it tends to receive. However, I have times when one visitor views five or more posts. I love that! I feel as if I’ve hooked that reader, at least for the moment.
I know what country you are in when you log on. Obviously, the majority of visits originate in the United States. But I’ve had readers in the Philippines, Italy, Australia, Ireland, and others. I have a friend who regularly follows me from Bulgaria. I must admit, I know she has visited when her country lights up. Each log-on, whether purposeful or by accident, offers an opportunity to present the news of God’s love.
Statistics also indicate what routed you to my site. Most readers launch from Facebook, but some come from Twitter, Google, and various search engines. With that information, I’ve learned how best to share each post. And seeing you share my posts pretty much puts me over the top!
So, you’re a number, but to me you’re much more. You are someone who encourages me. I might not know your name, but what you do for me is priceless. I feel your support. You validate my role in delivering the message. Some of you leave notes indicating what you’ve learned or how you’ve been moved. I love hearing that the timing of a post has been particularly appropriate.
I’ve seen firsthand the value of encouragement. You have taught me. Even though I don’t see your face, I know you’re there. And I am so grateful.
Your invisible support reminds me of God’s constant presence. I cannot see His face, but I see His hand at work both in me and around me, sometimes in the most subtle ways. He reassures me my life has purpose. The message of His Word heartens my efforts. Above all else, I need Him. I value His everlasting companionship. Knowing He is ever-present cheers me beyond all else.
I cannot see His face, but I know He’s there. I’m learning to watch for indications of His presence. I need Him. Thank you for reminding me!
“I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”