Well, it wasn’t exactly hate mail, it was more like whine mail. Someone who had a bone to pick with PIME sent an anonymous note. (Of course it was anonymous, as people who like to engage in name-calling and complaints without any details are usually cowards who like to hide their identity.)
I must admit, I was pretty excited to receive it.
As someone who has been in the communications business for awhile, I know that there is no such thing as bad feedback, much as in there is no such thing as bad publicity. Those of us who blog, produce magazines, newspapers, and podcasts, radio and television programs and even youtube videos know that sometimes (often) our work will get negative reviews. We also realize that those of us who “put ourselves out there,” whether as organizations or individuals, are pretty much asking for it. When we invite dialogue, it will not always be pretty.
And that’s OK.
I’m sorry that the individual who made negative comments feels bitter enough to do so. Because he or she spoke anonymously, giving me only enough details to discern that he or she is carrying a grudge, I can’t address the comments or include them here. I will say that there might even be truth in the comments – because, of course, no person or organization, religious or otherwise, is perfect. I’m not perfect, and the PIME Missionaries aren’t perfect. We’re just people trying our best to do God’s work. Sometimes we make mistakes, and sometimes we hurt others unwittingly.
But since I don’t know the details, I’ll just pray that the commenter finds some reconciliation, and a realization that casting stones out into the blogosphere might feel satisfying, but in the end won’t help him or her find peace.
So bring on the comments, but play nice. 🙂