The World Ain’t All Bad

I'm a person who believes in something. In miracles. Small ones I've seen with my own eyes. In people.

Freeport, Florida—my friend found a car stuck in a muddy ditch on a secluded road. It had just rained. The ground was soft. The thing was buried up to the bumpers.

It was full of Mexican women who didn’t speak English. My pal asked if they needed help—he happens to speak fluent hand-gestures.

All they could say was, “Please, yessir, thank you.”

They were a cleaning crew. Each of them had taken turns digging around the tires. Their uniforms were covered in mud. They had wet eyes.

My buddy strapped the vehicle to his hitch. It wouldn’t budge. He tried everything. No luck. So, he called some friends with trucks who lived nearby.

I was one such friend.

Three of our trucks lined up, side by side. We strung tow ropes to the vehicle, then hit the gas at the same time. Seven strangers, eight shovels, two Chevies, one Ford, and many years later…

My pal married one of those girls.

Quincy, Florida—Walmart. An elderly woman in the checkout aisle. She didn’t look good. She walked with a bent back, hunched shoulders, and carried a cane.

A manager helped her unload the cart. Then he paid her bill. A girl waiting in line videoed the whole thing on her cellphone.

The manager said to the girl, “Please turn off your camera, this doesn’t belong on Facebook. Show some respect, please.”

She put the camera away.

Then wrote me a letter about it.

Jonesboro, Georgia—he used to be a preacher. A good one. Then he had a wreck. It damaged his back. He got hooked on painkillers and whiskey.

The church fired him. He lost his wife, kids, and ambition. Which made him drink more.

One day, the church janitor showed up on his doorstep. He treated the former pastor to breakfast. Together, they ate too much bacon, drank too much coffee, and laughed too much.

He showed up again the next morning. And the next. It became routine. Soon, they were hunting together, going on fishing trips.

The preacher finally asked, “Why didn’t you write me off, like everyone else?”

The man showed him a sobriety token.

Anyway, I feel I owe it to you to admit: I don’t know much about life—I have the lack of training to prove it.

Even so, I’m a person who believes in something. In miracles. Small ones I’ve seen with my own eyes. In people. In things that terrify the sapsuckers who write the nightly news—folks who earn livings reporting on the worst mankind has to offer.

Well, I think life is a lot more than a string of bad headlines. If you don’t believe me…

You ought to attend a Mexican wedding.

12 comments

  1. Cherryl Shiver - January 5, 2017 11:36 am

    WOO HOO !!! Thank goodness for some good news, the world needs a whole lot more of it. Remember, that glass is half full, not half empty.

    Reply
  2. Carol - January 5, 2017 12:46 pm

    Sean Dietrich your stories brighten my day. I love that you see the good in people and write about it. Thank you!

    Reply
  3. Debora Colvin - January 5, 2017 1:07 pm

    Thanks for making me smile first thing this morning!

    Reply
  4. Christy Jordan Keyton - January 5, 2017 1:49 pm

    I love reading my Bible and your posts in the morning. There is hope in both these readings. Much better than reading the news which is a sapsucker, as you say!

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Finding beauty and joy on the planet of the apes | Mere Observations

  6. Maggie Perez - January 5, 2017 9:53 pm

    Thank you for writing as you do. It brightens my day and inspires me to continue to look for the kindness and good stories. Don’t stop!

    Reply
  7. Sandra Marrar - February 27, 2017 2:49 pm

    Another wonderful story! Thanks for brightening my day!

    Reply
  8. Nikki Gwin - February 27, 2017 2:50 pm

    You make me cry with joy.

    Reply
  9. Rhoda - February 27, 2017 3:55 pm

    Again you are responsible for another smile this morning. Thank you

    Reply
  10. Karen Bethea - February 27, 2017 6:16 pm

    As a graduate of the red dirt roads that surrounded – and still surround – Campbellton, Florida and its surrounding “municipalities; ie: Two Egg, Chipley, etc. & etc. I appreciate your writing more than I suspect many do. Would absolutely love to right now, be sitting in “Ms’ Woodham’s General Store” in Campbellton, eating a 2 for a penny cookie with a piece of hoop cheese and smelling the rolls of oilcloth hanging behind the rocking chairs. Yep – that is real life.

    Reply
  11. Lisa - February 27, 2017 7:42 pm

    I volunteer at Catholic Charities. I see small miracles a lot. Sometimes it’s a sandwich, chips and a bottled water, or clean clothes. At Christmas it’s gifts for the children. When we have excess, a loaf of bread. A young airman walked in one day. He use to go to Catholic services as a kid. He left the base without his phone or wallet and was almost out of gas. We tried to call his roommate-no luck. I gave him ten dollars for gas. He didn’t want to take it, but finally relented. My husband is retired military I said-we are family. What’s your name, he asked me. Lisa, I said. That’s my mom’s name, he said. I smiled. Love your stories.

    Reply
  12. Teri Butler - February 28, 2017 2:06 pm

    I know you’ve heard but doubt you understand, just how deeply you touch the hearts and souls of the folks fortunate enough to read your words. Thank you for the ways you express the things so many of us feel.

    Reply

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