Stephen Herreid’s God: A Holiday Thank You Note

Stephen Herreid’s God: A Holiday Thank You Note December 11, 2014

God does his thing despite our bad spelling.
God does his thing despite our bad spelling.

Two weeks ago I drove our family Volvo forty miles vaguely aware something was wrong with it. I needed to take the car to some trusted mechanics. Halfway through the trip the left wheel-well began to make a pneumatic drill nose. It kept getting louder. I drove onto the shoulder of the highway, did a walk-around, found nothing, and then kept on driving despite the noise. I had no money for a tow-truck.

Does Santa keep tabs on whether God has been naughty or nice?
Does Santa keep tabs on whether God has been naughty or nice?

Two days later the car went to the shop while I was busy moving our family from Seattle to where my parents live. A bit later I got a phone call telling me the car was ready. The elderly gentleman at the shop said the car didn’t need $900 in repairs as I was told previously. The cost was only $27, but the man was dumbfounded for some reason.

Then he laid it on me: All but one of the five bolts holding the tire had lost their hold. Yet, mysteriously none of the threading had worn off, nor any of the lugnuts fell off. The wheel was held in place by one bolt and grace.

The man said to me, “What do you call that?”

I said, “Miracle? That’s a miracle.”

He said, “Yes, a miracle.”

I should have been dead.

If only Stephen Herreid’s god (his recourse to lower-case divinity is more than a spelling mistake) had his way I would at least be punished. After all, unemployed freeloaders like myself, who want to persecute the heretics and the middle ages to return, ought to be expelled into the outer darkness.

Herreid’s ad hoc attacks (a sin against the practice of charitable reading proposed by Alan Jacobs, which he learned from Auden) threw me into a long inferno of thought. Thanks to my fellow bloggers Sam Rocha, J. Arthur Bloom, and Justin Tse I slowly came out of it, very slowly.

Then a miracle happened: donations started pouring in. My readers came to bat for me. If not for them, and Stephen Herreid, we’d be far deeper in the financial pit after all the costs of the move. As things stand we might even be able to shoulder any potential car repairs, which I know are around the corner.

Anti-Herreid: Jacobs proposes assuming the best about others even when only reading literature.

I sincerely want to thank you for your help Mr. Herreid! Even though you sound like you worship the god of the Founding Fathers, or the god of a certain virulent variety of conservatism, through you the God of Jesus Christ has showered mercy down upon a great sinner like me (it’s true).

None of your criticism makes references the biblical God, so maybe these two miracles in my life will help you become Catholic first, rather than conservative first? I sincerely pray for you daily. May this Advent help you shed strange gods for God the stranger and freeloader.

Again, God bless you Stephen for showing me how all things work together toward the good even if we cannot always immediately understand his purpose. I wish you all the best in your freeloading from places such as ISI and John Jay.

I mean, does anything contribute less to society than organizations that cannot even survive on their own without financial aid? By the way, I still have a paypal donate button on my homepage should you be tempted.

We’re not so different, my friend.

I will assume the best. Maybe you were only trying to help me? Maybe it was a matter of a Divine auto-correct. Either way, I’m glad you’ve entered my life.


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