So I never really thought about this until my friend Laura came to visit last week, but when you write a blog, it’s possible to find out what people type into search engines in order to discover your website. (It’s dead easy, and if you use a wordpress template you can just click a button in your statistics page).
For instance, she’s a wedding and baby photographer and she discovered that people were discovering her website by typing in their ardent need for local ‘Fruit photographers’.
Which was a bit weird.
But it was nothing compared to the weird and wonderful search engine terms that I discovered people had typed in and had my blog pop up as a result.
These are hilarious and had us laughing for a very long time.
Let me share my favourites in no particular order (this is a long list but I promise it’s worth it… ;))
Ok. Last year, these search terms, typed into a variety of search engines, led people to my blog.
1. In what country is it now 5.30am? (This was used 5 times!! Beautifulsilliness. Providing all your global time needs)
2. Biggest suitcase in the world. (Also used 5 times. Because I am an obvious suitcase pro)
3. Green skittles. (Used on multiple occasions. But to be fair, the whole lime and apple controversy is still ongoing)
4. Why we love lounge pants. (Used 4 times. Very valid subject though)
5. Biggest suitcase. (Again)
6. Largest suitcase in the world. (And again. 3 times)
7. Disney princess strengths. (Wow. This is an area that I truly excel in)
8. Jesus image found in a Jaffa cake. (Searched for twice. I laughed for about 10 minutes at this one)
9. Beautiful lounge pants. (Because that’s why we love them)
10. Short speech on Jaffa cakes. (Once you’ve found Jesus in one, why not talk about it?)
11. Tights meeting. (Searched for twice. Why?)
12. World’s biggest suitcase. (And… Again)
13. Jaffa cake Jesus. (Twice. He really does love these Jaffa appearances!)
14. His banana over me in love. (Because I am the apple of His eye)
15. The joy of lounge trousers. (Beautiful AND joyful)
16. Guys in yellow tights. (Not gonna find that on the blog I’m afraid)
17. Feeding you with my old flip flops. (A whole world of ‘Why’?!)
18. Short essay about my favourite outfit. (I can TOTALLY help you out!)
19. Clashing colours in the lounge. (I can also help you out!)
20. God found in Jaffa cakes. (It gets even better….)
21. Beautiful feet in car. (Yep. Beautifulsilliness. Beautiful feet. In a car. I get the connection)
22. Foot onsen with fish. (My weird experiences have gone global)
23. Girl’s hairstyle for prayer. (Taking prayer hair to a whole new level)
24. Cakes for Jesus. (I have heard He’s pretty partial to the odd cake)
25. Do clashing colours affect the brain? (Definitely)
26. I’m really into my piano. (That’s good)
27. Why is the circle of life compared to donuts? (Mmmmm, I’m not sure?)
28. Heavenly lounge pants. (Because… They’re so great… We’ll totally wear them in heaven?)
29. The world’s biggest suitcase (again? Spot the reoccurring themes…)
30. Why do beagle’s empty bins? (A question I’ve yet to learn the answer to)
31. How to make yellow tights? (A question I’ve also yet to learn the answer to)
32. Hamster survivor. (No idea)
33. Boys names that you can call your children. (Like Peta. For a girl)
And, after all the laughter about these precise terms came to an end, a more serious reflection remained with me.
Because regardless of the weird and random statements typed into Google in the last year, all of those weird and random statements led people to a blog about Jesus.
Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re looking for until we find it.
Sometimes we don’t appreciate what other people are looking for until they find it.
I genuinely think that every person is looking for God.
And sometimes it doesn’t come out in the most obvious ways.
It comes out in their creativity. Or it comes out in their angry. Or it comes out in the secret thoughts they think when no one else is looking. It comes out when they go into a bar. It comes out when they rely on money. It comes out when they enter a brothel. It comes out when they cry in desperation. It comes out in all kinds of ways that are not always obviously shouting for Jesus.
But in an un-obvious way they are.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it’s blatant. Sometimes people type ‘I want to find God’ into the search engine of their lives…
But often, it’s not so blatant.
It’s actually that Jesus still meets us in our sin and our pain and our stubbornness and our desire for all of the wrong things.
I have this great student, and last week our conversation turned to prayer. She described how she had gone to pray at the Buddhist shrine at New Year, but that she still felt God was distant and far away, and she shared that she often felt really lonely. I talked about being a Christian and praying everyday. About believing that God was always close to me, and that it was His heart to be close to each of us.
I gave her a link to my testimony in Japanese.
I just taught her again, and she said to me, ‘I read your testimony. I think that last week you talked about God being near to you, but also I understand that you are also close to God. Because even in how you smile I see that you are close to God’.
And so even in learning English, people are sometimes looking for God.
In so many ways, if we just pause to listen a little harder to what is unsaid, to the greater narrative that weaves its way through people’s stories, we can see that so many individuals are searching for a whole host of random topics, when they’re really searching for Jesus.
I love how Holy Spirit draws people to Himself.
It just shows His creativity in another way. 🙂
Oh, and I celebrated a whole year of being in Japan. We ate cakes to celebrate…. I’m sure you’d expect nothing less… 😉