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Who reads this stuff …and why it matters April 16, 2018

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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Less than a third of you reading my blog do so from the same country and you may or may not be in one countries that I have lived in.

WhoReadsThisIn the last 12 months I’ve had readers in 79 countries and territories – 33% of readers from the US, 21% from UK, 8.5 from Canada, after that the next highest are from India, Germany, Australia and the Philippines.

Like many other bloggers I do enjoy seeing that I’ve had a visit from somewhere and someone new.

But do I stop to think enough about who is reading?

I’ve not got a large enough following that millions or even hundreds of people are reading each post. I hope that if I was, I’d think a bit more about where my audience came from, and that my audience would think about where I came from.

I sometimes wish some people with larger global followings would be a little more aware, not just in order to fill in the gaps when someone doesn’t come from the same culture but to recognize their own gaps.

In a recent conversation with a friend from another country I realized that I knew nothing about his country. It had become an independent nation in my lifetime and  it’s people and his family had a history that I still know little about.

Like most people I see things from the perspective of my own culture and of my own life experience. Sometimes that means I see things that others don’t and some times it means I miss seeing things from other peoples view point and I misinterpret and misunderstand both their words and intentions.

Like most people who read the Bible, I sometimes misread  – I read it from my perspective and miss what the original authors were trying to say to their original audience.

I wasn’t born in Israel, and I wasn’t born at the time of Jesus, or of any of the characters or authors of the Old Testament.

Words originaly written in a different time, culture and language still have tremendous relevance for us. It just means we sometimes need to think about who wrote them and what we might know about their situation and worldview, and that we might also need to think about who is reading now and what perspectives we bring.

Such insight can also help us recognise why different people focus in on different truths in scripture and emphasize different characteristics of God. He is a God of love and mercy but also of justice. Christ came as both servant and king, and is friend, brother, and master. To some the good news is that he can calm storms, cast out demons, and heal the sick, some are accutely aware of their own sins and seek forgiveness, some are marginalised and have been told they are nothing, then Jesus calls them friend.

My last thought on perspectives is simply this. God sees you far more clearly than you see him. He knows your current faults, understands you current pain, but sees your true beauty and invites you daily into his presence that you can become the person he sees.

 

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