‘A Pretzel And A Soda At The Pool’

“Mr. Goldberg, 75, then came across a stranger’s post in a neighborhood Facebook group: ‘If anyone has a family member, friend or knows someone who is elderly and needs help pre-registering or registering online for the Covid-19 vaccine, I am happy to help,’ it said. The person was not asking for money and said, ‘I don’t care how long it takes.’

Mr. Goldberg wanted to contact the stranger immediately, but Ms. Goldberg was more skeptical. ‘You have to give your personal information to make appointments,’ she said. ‘A lot of people get targeted for scams when they are elderly.’

But Mr. Goldberg won the debate and reached out to the stranger, Harriet Diamantidis, a 36-year-old executive assistant who lives in nearby Merrick. Within a few hours, Ms. Diamantidis had procured appointments for the couple at Abraham Lincoln High School in Coney Island, Brooklyn. Ms. Goldberg, 73, remained skeptical until she and her husband showed up at the high school, she said. ‘But we both got our vaccine, and we even have follow-up appointments for the second dose on Feb. 27.’

The Goldbergs have stayed in touch with Ms. Diamantidis, who, it turns out, visits the same community pool they do in the summer. ‘I told her I wanted to send her something, but she wouldn’t accept it,’ Mr. Goldberg said. ‘So now I’ve decided I will buy her a pretzel and a soda at the pool.'”

Faith in humanity restored.

The Greatest Living Christian Apologist

Tampa to Charlotte. 6B is reading a book about how Christians can pick apart scientists’ arguments and successfully evangelize the masses.

My age, fighting Father Time with the help of a toupee. I can’t help but think how different our lives have probably been. We make small talk, and then in a temporary lapse of sanity I say, “Good book?” And he was off to the races.

He was surprised I knew what apologetics was and quickly informed me that he was supposed to be in First Class with his 83 year old dad who is the “World’s Greatest Living Christian Apologist”. Damn, I didn’t know that was a competition. Where, I wondered, could I find the complete rankings. I have close friends in the ministry, are they in the Top 20 I wondered? And how do the competing apologists keep track of total souls saved? Do you self-report and just trust your competitors aren’t inflating their numbers?

He didn’t know what to make of me. “Are there many other people like you in your church?” In other words. You’re one of those social justice whack jobs I’ve read about. I’ll pray for you.

There was some disappointment that I didn’t know his dad, but hell, he didn’t know mine, and mine was the World’s Greatest Wearer of Plaid Pants. Apparently, his dad built two seminaries and they travel the world debating atheists and others about Christianity. My dad was far too smart to ever hire me.

A Dallas Seminarian who believes in biblical inerrancy, he lectured me about the three different kinds of Christian apologetics and shared some of his strategies for convincing others to think just like him.

I told him about my Nigerian friend who was the most fervent Christian I had ever met and that if he was born 100 miles north of where he was he probably would’ve been an influential Muslim Iman. And that very, very few Christian parents in North America introduce their children to different faith traditions. That when it comes to one’s faith, the time, place, and family in which you’re born is probably even more influential than the Holy Spirit.

But turns out, he’s the exception. He’s talks with his 6, 8, and 10 year old (“started my family much later”) about other faiths all the time and encourages them to ask questions. And I’m SURE if one of them commits to a different faith in the future he’ll be completely understanding.

Lord, please temper my cynicism and grant 6B some humility.

[Remember, eavesdropping is perfectly okay. You just have to expect and accept returns of serve. “I noticed what you were reading,” 6B said with furrowed brow. The Ethicist essay in the New York Times Magazine titled, “Do You Tell a Friend That His Daughter is Having Sex?” Bahahaha!