Dark Corners and Cheap Likes

It happens about once a week. A speed reading blogger reveals, by the time stamp in my email, they read 18 of my posts in 3 minutes or less. They “liked” a whole lot of my posts that took a couple hours or more to write.

So hold on Gary (me, not all the other gary’s that will read this). Have you ever skimmed a post thinking you digested the gist? maybe browsed for sizzle and missed the steak?

Take for example Peter Caligiuri’s Very short poem (click here) packed with truths deeper then a quick read can fathom, much less understand, the heart of it’s surface. I caught myself, put on the brakes, made sure I had a full cup of coffee and then brought in my own imagination and self references to take it in. This one was not going to get a cheap “like” from me.

I am building a personal retreat/writers/guest/fisherman’s/scare the grandkids with stories/ cabin in the woods (Ok, a little cabin for people to stay). Right now the walls, roof, sheeting, windows and door have made it mosquito proof. 6 windows allow nice light in but no electricity yet. I need light inside the cabin as the corners are very dark and hard to work on”. Herein lies an insight.

“And with your truth, light corners in my heart” (part of Pete’s poem). Like the cabin, the corners of my heart lack light when I do not allow a Love that can only come from God to shine from within me. I am not enough. Windows and other light sources are not good enough for the corners. There is a whole lot more in the poem. Thanks Pete.

My wife and I have gone through many medical emergencies with our daughter over 40 years. Our daughter has a brilliant mind in a body that doesn’t work very well. Many of her emergencies (I forget the numbers), she has had a small chance to live. We are just back from spending several days by her hospital bedside again. We are her caregivers. This time does not rank in the worst 10 times thankfully.

We came home. I hugged my wife for a long time as memories of 45 years worth of hugs, situations and emotions sped like a fast forward movie through my mind. I lingered. We don’t give cheap hugs to one another. Our hugs mean a lot. They are sacred and light the corners of each others hearts. The corners where grief, happiness, peace, disagreement, giving and forgiveness get along. Things which grow fangs in the dark but grace in such light. God’s light in us from years of walking with the Lord keeps us and grows in us even when we are totally depleted. Light and Love are inseparable. These were part of my thoughts.

Thanks for the use of your poem Pete. I hope not to give out “cheap likes”

Gary

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

88 thoughts on “Dark Corners and Cheap Likes

  1. Unfortunately, ‘cheap likes’ are common in our fast paced, hectic society Gary, but as you have found “…His grace is sufficient..”, not cheap, and provides the light we need when life’s dark corners begin to close in.
    You, your wife and daughter remain in my prayers for continued grace and comfort for God’s will to be accomplished in her life for your peace and His glory brother.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow my friend. What a powerful message! Thank you my friend. Every night your daughter, your wife and you are in my prayers. You all have given me inspiration. With all that you have endured and I know no one as positive as you. I admire and respect you for that. May God bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I have become more-and-more skeptical of the “likes” on my blog, especially since it almost looks like they are machine-generated repeats. Thankfully, I don’t live for likes, I live to serve. Therefore, if one person benefits from something I have written, I count it as “mission accomplished.” Hopefully what I have written either helps them with life’s financial/investing decisions and/or points them to the God who can and will provide wisdom for all of life’s many decisions.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Oh yes, it’s good to be skeptical Wayne. “likes” are often like ground black pepper with all the hulls and filler thrown in. Often the owners of ” likes” write on the level of “likes ” they give out.

      Like

    2. I agree! When I began blogging in 2018, it became a distraction to see how many likes I received. Holy Spirit told me not to live for likes, but to pray that the person who needs to see the message get to read it. Because we are serving God and not man. Now, I’m going to visit your site and click “like” on a bunch of your posts! 😆

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Thank you for this post Gary! It is right on! We are the caregiver to my oldest son of 37. I understand how tough emotionally and physically that can be. I love most of the last paragraph. It is why you have been together 45 years. We will celebrate 40 in November. God Bless you brother!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Andy. You do know the struggles, relational strains, depths of insights and personal growth that come with that responsibility over a long period of time. It’s a marathon in some ways. Our “faith infrastructure” in Christ may well look quite different than others sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My next younger brother tried to talk me into a couple tubes but the cabin is in the middle of a darker section of woods in the balsams. I also though of a 12 volt solar system with led lights but the panels would have to be high in the big maple tree towering over the balsams

      Liked by 1 person

  5. revpete51@gmail.com
    I am so moved by the depth of your post. Those years of emergencies, hospital visits and sticking through them as a family all diatilled into little moments of memories in those hugs. We have a few of those of our own as well and understand a little of that. I am also intrigued by your cabin. Will you be done by Winter…or is the frost already knocking on the door up North? Thank you for including the link to my little poem. Blessings my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Pete. Tons of stories, laughter and tears. Definitely abnormal stories, perks and struggles. Much of life lived in a minor key to be resolved in eternity.
      The cabin will soon have electricity, insulation, siding and a heater for use to finish in winter.
      A composting toilet and carried water is planned for now. A kitchenette, refrigerator, campers oven and stove, a wrap around deck is already done with roof over it.
      If there are no interruptions, It will be useable end of October for first snow. nights are still low 40’s no frost yet but anytime. And, yes, personable bloggers may stop by and use it if they do not mind being in the woods where the bear, bobcat, deer, wolves and owls play quite consistently. A very small cozy 12 x 16 cabin

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sounds wonderful but in this season of life the kids have us planned through Christmas when we go to Texas for a visit. I remember life on the mountain in Northeast Pennsylvania. One year our first frost was September 21. At 1250 feet in elevation there wasn’t anything between us and Canada but air! I do miss that scenery, but my body (and my wife) doesn’t miss the long cold grey days from November 1 – April 1.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Linda. I’m glad it’s connecting. I do not always know after going through higher stress from life events or ongoing struggle. those things put us in a different gear, thinking wise, than the norm

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You Robert. hardship has a way of not letting us be the same. We grow one way or the other. Thankfully we have chosen the one way to grow better, hopefully keeping God’s ways always. I sometimes want to call a timeout on life and give God a piece of my mind but the image of Jonah keeps popping up.

      Like

  6. A post with a lot of depth. Depth that matters. I am truly sorry for your daughter. May God give you and your wife, all the strength and courage that you need.

    We live in a world that has become a blurry vision of reality, obsessed with social media, which is truly full of fake people and an abundance of scammers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Michael. So true on social media. I have taken it as a challenge to just be real. It seems like real people find real people and hang on to them. A good circle of friends like life takes some ole fashioned work. And, they understand when we need time outs for real life stuff

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  7. My wife has stood by my side through 6 hospitalizations this year (some minor, some major). Talk about companionship borne out of trial. We’re more in love than ever (after 48 years) – that’s not a boast but recognition of the Author of all good things. Thanks for sharing from your heart, Gary. It make a cheap ‘like’ very difficult. Grace, mercy and peace…

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Somehow I missed Pastor Pete’s gem of a poem. Thank you for calling attention to it, Gary.

    You’ve taken what Pete wrote and added to it exponentially: “light and love are inseparable,” “fangs in the dark become grace in the light.”

    It’s all to easy in this world to step around what’s really REAL. Thank you for the heads up, brother.

    Continued prayers for your daughter.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Gary, my heart nodded and I had tears reading this. Love and light from God are truly the only real brightness I experience. Your daughter has my deep-felt sympathy for a beautiful body that can’t keep up with a brilliant mind. The hugs shared between you and wife choked me up~because it’s the type of hug I feel from Christ each morning. When I began blogging, like we’ve shared here before, I desired authentic relationships. I’m not on social media because of “likes”. Due to some health challenges I feel like I “fail” my friends here at times by not being able to take the time to stop by. You are one that’s been on my mind for a visit. Your cabin sounds delightful and perfect. You light up the dark corners with the love of Christ. I read Pastor Pete’s poem. It’s perfect. And like his poem, I’ll not give a cheap like~thank you for being a light for Christ. I’m covering your precious family in prayers, Gary. I’m sorry for the challenges. 💛🙏🏻

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That means a lot Karla, coming from someone going through immense challenges now and ahead. Several of my prayer notebook pages have a big K at the bottom. That means pray for Karla. Don’t ever feel bad about stepping out of the bloggers highways. The byways are good enough for now.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your encouragement Linda. The cabin puts a good wrinkle on my fall fishing but will be worth it. Lot’s of family visits and fall leaves starting to show their true colors when the green leaves. All encouraging. God is good even when his goodness seems hidden by life’s stuff piled high.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It is true — information overload — we tend to skim read because we don’t want to miss anything but we should not take offends — a like is a like is a like. After over a decade of blogging and thousands of passerbys, I am grateful for them all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s good to know your thoughts after 10 years. I do know that every time someone opens others posts they are in a different place. Somewhere between looking for something to catch the eye or a thought or sitting down to look for something with depth to absorb slowly. I don’t take it personally but it’s my own challenge to gain as much as I can from others insights. The challenge is in the seeing before fleeing when in a hurry.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks Gary.

    All the infinite ongoing forever love and always support and care for your beautiful daughter is a perfect reflection of what the Lord Jesus does for each of us daily. Of course, we know He loves us unconditionally, or we should know that, though the enemy tries to hide that fact, and His love is constant, as is His care, regardless of our needs. He will always meet the need though He requires our faith, trust, and confidence in Him, though the mature in faith must be there to help support the weak in faith.

    I see your daughter as very strong in faith. I see all three of you as strong in faith. She is likely often supporting you and your wife. Life is hard and sometimes is very hard, and any support from those who love and have faith in the Lord is far beyond precious and of great value. This ongoing dynamic the three of you share, this ministry in action, this spirituality reflecting the Lord’s love and interaction, not only sustains you but somehow adds more than what would otherwise be.

    Some people never engage in such. They simply refuse. Others may try but run out of steam early on. Some may give their best but struggle with fits and starts. Others just quit…

    And then some are in it for the long haul no matter what.

    The real love and the real faith is ongoing. It never ends. It is ever reliable with a strong indestructible foundation. The outer house may suffer attack and must be maintained to overcome the elements and stay in good repair by our efforts but the foundation will never move and that gives us hope.

    The two of you hugging indicates very necessary mutual support but also confirmation of ministry well done doing the best that can be done and gives the ongoing strength needed for the future. You are greatly blessed to have each other.

    There is a reason it is called eternal rest. Until then we must continue fighting the good fight of faith. Acknowledging our Lord Jesus always for what He is always doing, as doing for each of us as the two of you do for each of you and for your daughter, is key. We must take on His easy yoke in part because it lessens the great strain of other yokes and impossible loads and allows us to carry on consistently doing our part in what He does consistently.

    His Light not only shines on darkness but removes it. We can thus smile in the face of adversity knowing our faith in Him is as light and will make darkness flee. Sometimes the solution is to carry on in inseparable Light and Love which the three of you have done and are doing.

    We’ll catch necessary breathers in the here and now in the midst of our ongoing work and if we remain faithful and never quit we’ll get the big rest later in a place where all is well.

    To the victor go the spoils.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a beautiful example of your marriage and commitment to not only each other, but staying strong through your daughter’s difficulties. You definitely learn the value of life and the appreciation of each other when going through these struggles. Praying God’s blessing on you and your family!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I am a hugger. People comment on my hugs. I mean it when I hug.
    What you said: (hugs) “are sacred and light the corners of each others hearts” I get it, and I so agree. God is a God of relationships, and we each have our unique ways of showing a deep connection. We’re all looking for connection with someone who gives us significance. I want to be that person who is “Jesus with skin on,” so to speak.
    Thank you again for a post worthy of contemplation.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I actually have another blogging friend named Gary and he refers to his wife as the blonde. I realized you were not him about a half second after I hit the post button. I truly believe that God will see all of you through. Blessings to you and your family.

        Like

  14. I get those “cheap likes” too, Gary. I’ve discovered most are calling cards from e-commerce blogs. They seem to pick out the most actives posts to leave “likes” on, but they are really nothing more than spreading their business cards around.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. We were just talking about something similar in our prophetic worship session yesterday, Gary, that praise in the middle of troubles and trials and tribulations is sacred, raw, real, intimate and filled with so much more heart than “sunday worship”, which can be shallow and perhaps even “cheap” when it’s the only worship we bring to GOD…
    I guess what I want to say is I totally agree and I would also apply the same to worship…. and regarding the likes – my take is that the “cheap likes” people give those for themselves, so that you would visit back or even follow back or like back – like when people ask you how your weekend was, not to find out how your weekend was, but to tell you about theirs…
    But the “true likes” are for the author.
    Here’s one from me, Gary.
    Very touching post, as always, you are calling – deep calling unto deep – and so many people answer. I notice that you get a lot of likes and comments – a lot more than other people with a lot more followers!!
    You are being heard and read, Gary.
    And we are praying for you and your family and we are in awe of how you master carrying this heavy cross so gracefully!
    And what a wonderful idea, the cabin, I can’t wait to hear the stories from guests visiting it once it will be finished and the light will shine in it….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are right on Eva. It’s just human nature, and not necessarily bad to be in a hurry and still connect however briefly or even as a strategy for inviting someone else to know who you are.
      As far as numbers of likes and comments, I only have theories as there are some really great writers who cannot seem to get traffic. I deeply appreciate your prayers and in our small corners of the world we live in it’s just important to be “real” in front of both others and God.
      Worship…Worthship…Lifting up ourselves last is the best strategy for living as well as comments, likes and blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Gary, I love how you’ve woven your cabin into Pete’s poem. The words that resonated loudest were- “Windows and other light sources are not good enough for the corners.” Your post is a wonderful testimony of the depth of connection and love that comes from years of committed marriage and parenting. Praying that you and your wife are getting the rest you need to care for your daughter and that she has the cream of the crop of nursing staff seeing to her while in the hospital. And now I walk away to chew on the frequency in which I’ve “browsed for sizzle and missed the steak.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have a sneaky suspicion you do well in steak portions Beth. You sure pick up on even semi-hidden truths many gloss over. We have our daughter home now and have a couple good nights of sleep. There is a ways to go in gaining strength and body function but our daughter is headed the right direction. Thanks for your prayers.
      I have been thinking how I could end up with ice cream topped with fresh raspberries after the steak but it’s not coming to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi, I’m new here. I’ve seen your comments on Double Acres, so thought I’d look at your blog. I understand those ‘likes.’ I’ve often wondered if some folks that like stuff even read what I wrote. Love those hug-and-mean-it hugs. I also understand loving someone who’s body doesn’t work very well. I’m new here, so I don’t know if it’s my place to say, but I hope your daughter is doing ok.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it’s your place as much as anybody’s, and thank you Jessica. She has a ways to go but headed the right direction.
      Wayne with double Acres is a great guy. Someday I hope to meet him. He is a square shooter and what you read is who he is.
      As life stuff happens, the bad and the good, it’s best to be honest about it, learn and gain insights so one can live with wisdom and know that much of life is way bigger than us as individuals. Helping one another works.
      I often wonder the same thing on “likes” that mean it. It’s not our problem, although, it might mean something if the only likes we get were undeserved because of poor content. I don’t write for likes as they are hopefully a “fruit” of my labor writing something worthy to no not only like but want to come back for more.
      So meanwhile, hang in there, write and edit well to a chosen audience and you will find others as they find you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi. Thank you for a thoughtful reply. I’m happy to hear she’s headed in the right direction. That’s really great.
        It’s nice when writers are authentic. It’s welcoming and refreshing. I am a ‘write with the heart’ writer myself. My art blog is my 2nd blog. My first blog I’ve had for a long time. That’s where the heart spills stories and learned wisdoms. I agree with what you said about the likes. I just write, likes or not. Someday my kiddo can look back on our life and be able to keep and share all of our adventures, etc. That’s what it’s about for me. I like your blog. Hope you have a nice day!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. The mosquito proof part of the cabin caught my attention. I will never forget how many of them there were in Minnesota your neighboring state.

    The followers I appreciate most are the ones who actually read my posts and interact with me. The skimmers not so much and then there are the ones who click like with even viewing-ugh.

    In a day and age that too many pregnancies are viewed as inconvenient, it is a wonderful testimony of you and your wife loving your daughter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, you would like the cabin Matt. We do live in Minnesota now. I could say lakes area or I could say mosquito area. Both are accurate. I hope to someday screen in the porch as well for sitting outside in comfort.
      We do our best with our daughter with the Lords help.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I like the, ‘not giving cheap hugs,’ part. 😊Your marriage sounds like a lifeline for each other and you both keep each other going through difficult moments. Always a blessing to see godly marriages that have stood the test of times. Bless you 🙏🏾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Anneta. We got past the cheap part as friends before we even started dating. Yes, it’s quite a life line with many of the life events we have faced. Life is so much bigger than us but nothings bigger than God so we hang close while remaining hug-able to one another.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Very nice, Gary. Glad this last event wasn’t in the top 10 – wow. As someone who works in web dev… I consult a lot of people that say “I’ve been using Facebook and Instagram and WordPress to try to market myself – I’ve added THOUSANDS of friends and liked what seems like millions of posts and blogs, but I can’t seem to get any traction. I’m doing everything right – what gives?”

    Not making excuses for people’s bad choices online, but there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there peddling bad advice like these “strategies”. It’s sad, not only does it not work, but it takes up valuable time that people could spend so much more productively… maybe by reading the blogs they’re liking.

    Have a nice week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks AJ. I’m basically an old guy (not real old though) who writes a little, reads selectively and is real in writing and commenting. I write for relationships, connections and interaction. I have about 500 followers??? (I checked once mid-year) and interact a lot with people as real and honestly as I can. I honestly don’t know any social media strategies and don’t care as long as it stay fun and I get to fish now and then, get to the BWCA with my canoes and take people fishing when I can. I live free, quite differently than following all the weird rules the world is coming up with. My inflation busters are burning more wood, eating more fish and wild game.
      “Don’t let the world squeeze you into it’s mold” Romans 12:2 (Let God do the molding)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Now that I think of it, I do have a couple rules. 1) If tyou are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. 2) If your readers are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. 3) I can’t remember what that one was but someone will remind me I’m quite sure of it

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Erika. Now there’s a thought “Shine up the grit of life so others (and myself) see the glory reflecting back.
      There sure is a lot to be said for learning life lessons from tough times and becoming better rather than bitter. allowing God to be in charge as we never are qualified or capable anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Wow Gary!!! Good words here! I’ve noticed and felt the same over in my blog. A bunch of likes in a short time is only fooling the “like-happy-button pusher”…another reminder of the darkness of dishonesty in a sin-filled world.
    Thankfully we have Jesus to light the darkest corners if we allow so.
    **I’m really interested to learn more about the cabin, so awesome!! Maybe you could find a Bible verse sign to hang in the cabin about His light as a reminder and encouragement. If you’re interested I’d be delighted to make one with my cricut machine and I’d donate/send it to you. Let me know!
    Prayed and will continue to pray for you, your wife and daughter!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Alicia. I would love a bible verse hung in the cabin…sign it as well underneath.
      Several things in the cabin have been from others so it’s coming together as if we planned it that way only better. contact me, I think my contact info is correct. Other bloggers are interested as well in possibly staying a night or more. It will be rustic and in the woods.
      Last week a bobcat was screaming by the cabin. That will be un-nerving for some, exciting to others.
      Some day I will do more of a post with pictures when the time is right. It’s a messy building site right now with a half finished everything. wiring inside is going on and siding outside. Actually nothing is happening with all the medical stuff with daughter, but it will.

      Like

  22. You have a poem at the end of your writing that squeezed the heart: “We came home. I hugged my wife for a long time as memories of 45 years worth of hugs, situations and emotions sped like a fast forward movie through my mind. I lingered. We don’t give cheap hugs to one another. Our hugs mean a lot. They are sacred and light the corners of each others hearts…” That is beautiful and brings light to my day. Thank you, Gary. The best to you, your wife, and incredible daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your comment so much. It is very hard to write about a lifetime of memories. They are sacred and vulnerable but often have close kin in memories carried about in those we meet. Thankyou.

      Like

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