How The Internet is Almost as Funny as God

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Who knew the Internet and God had this one thing in common–a be-careful-what-you-wish-for sense of humor?

God recently showed his sense of humor when he answered my prayer for more preaching opportunities.

In my current setting I don’t have a formal, ongoing, paid position in my church. Instead, I use my Deaconess training* here and there with a mix of paid and volunteer tasks in my own church and in other churches around my area.

Some of my most favorite work–times I feel most alive–are the times when I get to preach or speak. I’m still working on developing a formal speaking ministry. But the preaching opportunities are easier to come by when neighboring pastors need back-up, so I prayed for more of them.

It had been months since I preached last, but then, this fall, my church invited me to preach our Advent series. That would be 3 chances to preach and I was thrilled! Then a neighboring pastor called me with an additional 3 dates this month for which he needed back-up.

Suddenly here was December with 6 chances to preach! I just had to laugh at God’s sense of humor in answering my prayer in such a big way!

In a similar way, the Internet showed its sense of humor when it challenged my fears about being relevant with my blog. Last week I wrote the post How Being “Relevant” Eludes Me (click the title to read that post) and I lamented to the Internet:

I have a ton of ideas about what I want to write about. But I just never know what’s going to resonate with people.

I watch my blog stats (the details that I can view as a blog administrator about how many visits there are to my blog and what posts are being viewed) more closely than I need to. And I fret when something I feel good about doesn’t get as many views as I wish it did. And I hope, in admitted vanity, that this blog will really take off.

I know all the right things I should be thinking about my blog–that if even one person is touched by my writing then I am doing good work here. And I am always, always glad to know when that one person is touched. Please keep writing comments and e-mails and Tweets and Facebook messages to let me know because, truly, that’s what keeps me going when one person at a time is indeed touched by my work.

But right or wrong, I want to reach more people. And sometimes I shake my fists at the Internet and ask, in all ignorance, “What’s it going to take?”

And the Internet seems not to answer.

And then I had this really crummy day when I almost didn’t write anything. Except I have been trying to write more often and I was determined to post on Monday or Tuesday. Monday was a migraine day and I truly could not write. So it was Tuesday or bust. And despite my depression knocking me down, the idea of skipping Tuesday was worse than the idea of cranking out something irrelevant.

And so, I wrote Eat, Sleep, Preach: A Deaconess in Depression (click the title to see that post) and that post got a lot of attention. In fact, it became my most viewed post ever! Wednesday was my all-time biggest day on the blog. Lots and lots of people reached out to me in one way or another to express empathy or appreciation for what I wrote. Thanks to all who supported me by reading, responding to, or sharing the post. I am deeply grateful.

And I had to laugh at the Internet’s way of giving me such a big day over a post that I almost didn’t write on a day when I just wanted to stay in bed.

See what I mean? God and the Internet are both hilarious!

* I was trained and consecrated by the Lutheran Deaconess Association (LDA), an independent Lutheran diaconate based in Valparaiso, Indiana. The LDA allows me to keep the title of Deaconess despite not having a formal call as they recognize a wide range of service as diaconal. For more about my journey of becoming a Deaconess, see my post How I Became a Deaconess (click the title to read that post).

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri Kardos on December 14, 2013 at 3:48 am

    When you were with us in Oak Harbor, I always enjoyed your messages. I was glad to have an opportunity to listen to them this Advent season through this funny internet. I too appreciate God’s sense of humor.

  2. Posted by Hermano Grande on December 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Teh Interwebz H8 U
    But
    Jesus Loves You!
    This was a fun read.

  3. Posted by Robin Hood on December 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Oh, God definitely has that kind of sense of humor…
    that, and the internet is kind of a gathering place for those who can’t face the world for reasons of depression and other issues.
    I certainly do not exclude myself from fitting into that category, one way or another.

    • I think that Internet as gathering place concept is what really excites me about blogging. People need to know they’re not alone!

      • Posted by Robin Hood on December 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

        Yes, and that’s why I think it does gather especially people who do feel off from normal. They come to the internet looking to escape normal and be entertained or find out more about what is going on with them.

        Jen, your blog here has me post with my email. Do you have access to that email, or does the website hide it from you?

      • I don’t see your e-mail, rather your comment shows up directly on my blog admin page.

  4. Posted by Robin Hood on December 14, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Alright, good to know. I don’t need all of your readers to know who I am, but I do want you to know, hey, this is the Robin you know. Hi! I followed you over from facebook.

    • As the blog admin it shows me the e-mail address of commenters, so I knew it was you. 😉

      I like requiring e-mail address for commenters because in case readers want to challenge what I write, it helps keep people accountable for their responses.

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