Christ Under Me; Christ Over Me; Christ in My Paypal Account

Today I ventured into my Paypal account to transfer the donations I received after the election of Pope Francis to St. Matthew’s House.

Apparently Paypal has a limit on the amount of money you can withdraw in a single month. I had never realized this before, because my Paypal account has always been mostly a waste of internet space. But today, I realized that it would take two solid months before I could move all the money from my account to St. Matthew’s House. I started today, and transferred $400 to St. Matthew’s House. I’ll be able to give them the same amount of money next month.

You guys. I don’t even know what to say. The donations that came in have astounded me. From people donating hundreds at a time (and even, God bless them, some people specifically earmarking the donation “for the personal use of Calah and her family”) to people donating $5, I have been overwhelmed. The $5 donations made me weep a little, to be honest, because I felt like I was staring at the face of the widow in the Gospels, giving all that she had. We’ve been in that $5 camp for a long time, and there have been months and years when a $5 donation would mean one less gallon of milk or no eggs for a week. To all of you who donated, whether it was $5 or $500, I cannot thank you enough. You’ve given much, much more than the gift of money to those in need.

Blogging comes with a peculiar curse. I love the internet and the friends I have made here, but I have become undeniably more cynical in these past three years of blogging. I no longer trust human beings the way I once did. I am no longer certain, as I once was, that everyone is good, in the deepest part of their soul. I want to believe those things, truly I do, but the blogosphere reveals the dark, hateful underbelly of humanity in a peculiar way. Worse still, it brings out that dark, hateful underbelly in all of us. It brings out the darkness and the hatred in me.

I think it’s the loss of human contact that does it. Like nuclear warfare and drone strikes, the internet removes your ability to look into the eyes of the person you’re talking to (or at, as the case may be). You can’t see what you’re doing to them with your words. Worse still, you can’t see yourself reflected in their eyes. And if our fellow human beings are where we find Christ, the internet is, perhaps, where we lose him. Humanity is obscured. Love, charity, even just common decency is practically unheard-of in the blogosphere. It’s shocking to find it.

So these donations, pouring in from far-flung corners of the earth to give aid to a tiny homeless shelter in a shanty town in the middle of a Florida swamp…they’re not just money, they’re Christ. I opened up my Paypal account this morning and found Christ in others, in a way I haven’t seen in a really long time. So please know that you have done more than just given to charity. You’ve brought Easter to my soul today, a little early. You’ve given me back some of that unshakeable faith in humanity that has slipped away from me these past few years. Thank you. Every donation was a corporal and spiritual work of mercy. May God bless each of you for your charity, and may you find, this Easter, the same renewed faith and hope that I found this morning.

 Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield

overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

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