Some people – maybe a lot of people – don’t think it’s the right time for a good sense of humor. I have the opposite view. I think very hard times are the best times. But I’ll never be as good at it as my dad.
When he was on his death bed in 1989, cancer metastasized flippin’ everywhere, he could barely get out of bed. I was with him in the hospital. He needed to use the toilet and insisted on going to it (instead of taking the obvious hospital option). It took him about 10 minutes to sit up and get his feet on the floor (I remember it as 20 minutes but think now my mind must have exaggerated it). The nurse was beside the bed, helping him with every incremental movement. When after much moaning and groaning he finally got to his feet, facing her, he collapsed onto her shoulders with his arms outstretched.
And said: “I’ve been waiting all day for this.”
Ha! She laughed and said, I love you too.
So we are in hard times now. Even though a good sense of humor is important, it’s obviously not funny. It’s incredibly serious and frightening. And obviously life changing. I’ve moved to shelter-in-place, voluntarily, as I imagine many of you have as well. My biggest concern is for the people who are losing their jobs, have no source of income, no savings, no backup plan, and often no family support. Things are dire and they will get worse before they get better, whenever that might be.
Those of us not personally in tragic situations obviously need to do what we can to help those who are. Or even to help those who are not in complete desperation but could use a pick up.
I have decided for now to continue with the blog as always. Maybe it’s a relief to some people to read something other than the newest reports from around the world, around the country, around the state, around town, updated every minute. And so I will keep posting on the New Testament and Early Christianity, not because it is the one thing we are all obsessing about right now, but because it seems to be the right and good thing to do.
There are two ways you can yourself use the blog as a tool to do good. I am not proposing these out of self-interest. I make NOTHING on the blog and even though I am massively committed to it and see it as a great good, my own professional and personal life would be much easier without it. But there are ways the good it does could do more good. As you will see from a post earlier today, I have extended the offer for more free memberships to those who cannot afford them. There’s not a whole lot more I can do, at least that I can think of. But there are a couple of things you could do:
- There are more and more people who have more free time on their hands now. You know some of these people. Consider giving them a Gift Subscription to the Blog. It’s easy to do: just log into the blog and hit “Gift Subscriptions” and go from there. This function is not utilized nearly as much as I have always hoped. Now would be a good time: family member, friend, acquaintance, someone who once upon a time (say, a week ago) you used to see face to face. This will give them another avenue to pursue in downtime and it will grow the blog. And why does that matter? Because every penny goes to charity, and the charities desperately need the funds. Everyone wins.
- Consider making a donation to the blog. Here’s how I look at it. If you give to the blog, the money goes directly to charities dealing with people in desperate need. You could obviously give directly to the charities themselves. They would get the same amount of money in either case. But by giving to the blog, you make the blog grow; as the blog grows it attracts more attention; as it attracts more attention, it attracts more members; the vast majority of members have joined not because they want to give to charity but because they want to learn about the topics covered on the blog. Their membership fee *goes* to charity but they aren’t joining in *order* to give to charity. That means charities get moneys they otherwise wouldn’t be getting. So it’s not a zero-sum game. The moneys coming into the blog, in the vast majority of instances, are not money that would have gone to charity anyway. So it advances the causes of the charities without taking anything away from them. If the blog grows BIG-TIME the charities gain more and more. And to do that, it needs more public attention. If it’s bigger it will do so. And it will then attract yet more members. And so it goes.
So think about it. If you’re not inclined, AOK! The main function between the blog and you is for us to provide the information and insights about the New Testament and Early Christianity you are most interested in. The secondary function is to help those in need. This is a good time to emphasize the second function. But we each do what we can! To donate, just log in and hit the DONATE tab, and go from there.
Many thanks for being involved with the blog. Spread the word. Keep safe. And do try to keep a good sense of humor in our very hard moment.