When All Else Fails, Blame God

, , , , , , , | Right | January 5, 2021

Since almost the beginning of the global health crisis, I’ve been volunteer grocery-shopping for the elderly and vulnerable through a secular local charity. As the winter holidays approach, my volunteer leader reaches out to me asking my availability over the break.

Me: “Oh, I can shop anytime. I’m not going anywhere and I don’t celebrate Christmas.”

Volunteer Leader: “You’re Jewish?”

Me: “What? No. I’m atheist.”

Volunteer Leader: “Wait… Why are you volunteering?”

Me: “Excuse me?! I’m shopping for these elderly people because it’s too dangerous for them to go out right now. I’m helping because there’s a need.”

Volunteer Leader: “All right. Okay. Sorry. I just don’t see the reason you’re volunteering.”

Me: “Seriously?! Okay. So, why are you volunteering?”

Volunteer Leader: “I help in the name of God.”

Me: “Oh. To get in his good graces.”

Volunteer Leader: “No. To get the word out of his goodness.”

Me: “To proselytize.”

Volunteer Leader: “Well… no.”

Me: “Look, your questioning my reason to help others means you don’t grasp doing something good for its own sake.”

Volunteer Leader: “What? No. Goodness starts and stops with God. That’s why I am here to help. Why would you volunteer if it wasn’t for Him?”

Me: “Because it’s the right thing to do. How do you explain my volunteering?”

Volunteer Leader: “God’s making you do it.”

Me: *Sighs* “Just give me the info of the people who need their shopping done over the holidays; I can help whoever needs it.”

I’m not going to ask for a different volunteer leader, but he might ask to not oversee me anymore; I’m not sure. I know that, as the months go on, volunteers are dropping out and those of us sticking with it as our lives get busy again are more and more valuable to the charity. Hopefully, next year, our services will no longer be needed and the elderly and vulnerable can get back to the lives they had before.

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