They rushed him to the surgeon. They shaved the man’s chest. And while they were at it, they cut his beard off. He looked a hundred years older without it. The lines on his face were deep.

He sat in a construction office trailer. It was after hours. He was off the clock. He watched a black-and-white television after a long day of work.

He was a foreman. He had things to do. Normally, he would’ve been anywhere else besides the office trailer. But today was different.

A knock on the door.

An old man with an unshaven face and backpack. The man was lean. He asked if he could dig through the job-site dumpster.

“What for?” asked the foreman.

“Looking to make me a house out of a cardboard box. One that won’t get knocked down by the wind.”

So, the foreman showed him the biggest and best boxes. One was large enough to play basketball in.

They talked. They laughed. The foreman asked if the old man was hungry.

“I could eat,” was the man’s response.

The foreman fed him two bologna sandwiches with mustard.

The old man ate caterpillar-slow. He watched the television with big eyes while he chewed.

“Been awhile since I seen a TV,” he said.

After the man finished his meal, the foreman gave him all the food in the break-room kitchen. Potato chips, Cokes, peanut butter, a loaf of Bunny Bread. He gave him the money in his wallet, too.

“Where’re you staying?” asked the foreman.

“Behind K-Mart.”

“Oh, no. That’s terrible.”

“Nah, it’s nice back there. Sometimes they even throw away old canned food.”

How about that.

The foreman brought the man home. He introduced him to his family. After a fifteen-minute shower, the fella was hardly recognizable. His skin looked three shades lighter. His hair was less yellow.

They ate. They talked about good things. Nice things. The man was a perfect gentleman.

They offered for him to stay the night.

The old man declined.

He wasn’t seen for months thereafter. Until the day he turned up at the construction trailer again. After hours.

The old man appeared at the door, gripping his chest. His look was a serious one. He said was having pains.

They took him to the ER. The doctor said it was a heart defect. He needed surgery. Fast.

They rushed him to the surgeon. They shaved the man’s chest. And while they were at it, they cut his beard off. He looked a hundred years older without it. The lines on his face were deep.

Before surgery, he told the foreman, “Thanks for all you done for me. Most people just look on past me.”

Surgery was long. The foreman waited. The doctor came out with a relieved face.

Old Bones made it.

The foreman walked into his room. The man was sleeping. He sat by his bed until he woke.

“I sure am glad I met you,” were the old man’s first words.

The foreman shared this sentiment. They remained friends until the end.

“I know you’ve probably heard stuff like this before,” says the widow who first told me this story. “But I just thought you might like to know that good people are still out there.”

Yes ma’am.

And your foreman husband was damn sure one of them.

20 comments

  1. Cathi Russell - June 13, 2017 11:50 am

    I shouldn’t love you as I do because you always make me cry. But as long as you write, I’m gonna read! Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Sharon - June 13, 2017 12:50 pm

    Matthew 25:36-41. The least of these. Jesus would be proud.

    Reply
  3. Debbie Durham - June 13, 2017 1:08 pm

    Your stories are awesome , entertaining,uplifting,heartwarming! I so look forward to them each day! Need more of this floating around! Thank you!❤

    Reply
  4. Dick McNider - June 13, 2017 1:08 pm

    Thanks Sean. You make us all want to be better. In the end you make the world a better place.

    Reply
  5. Judy Miller - June 13, 2017 1:16 pm

    It’s so nice to know people out there are still kind and thanks for writing about those kinds of people.

    Reply
  6. Lilli Ann Snow - June 13, 2017 3:13 pm

    I never felt so in touch with my gut or my heart before you, Sean of the South, moved in. Your soul is the roommate all of us need to bunk with. I see Jesus every time your name appears. I hear Jesus every time I read your stories. You make Jesus return …every …single …day. Second coming? No. Daily coming. Never leaving. Indwelling.

    Roommate.

    Reply
    • Marilyn - June 13, 2017 4:06 pm

      Lilli, beautifully said. The Lord has reached out to touch us through Sean’s writings. His stories are a daily devotional and I look forward to them everyday. Sean, please gather these together and make a book.

      Reply
    • Leigh - June 16, 2017 12:15 am

      Well said.

      Reply
  7. Janne Swearengen - June 13, 2017 5:15 pm

    There is so much here it’s hard to swallow, digest and let flow throughout your being. Yet, the title says it all and that’s what it takes to make a difference. One person at a time.

    Reply
  8. Patricia Gibson - June 13, 2017 10:03 pm

    Praise God for good people!

    Reply
  9. Tammy - June 14, 2017 1:36 am

    I recently lost my mother unexpectedly from surgery complications, reading your beautiful words soothe my soul and give me hope. You are just what I needed. Much thanks.

    Reply
  10. Gloria - June 14, 2017 11:46 am

    Makes your heart glad.

    Reply
  11. Karen - June 14, 2017 6:50 pm

    Thank you, love this story. HOPE

    Reply
  12. Carolyn - June 24, 2017 7:04 pm

    Thank you one more time, Sean. We have a similar loss in common-my husband of 42 years took his own life in 2004. (He, like the foreman in this story was one of the good people.) I read your posts, knowing the soft heart that drives them has been watered by many tears. God bless you.

    Reply
  13. David Druhan MD - July 30, 2017 11:06 pm

    This is practicing the 2nd greatest commandment as He wanted.

    Reply
  14. Dianne - August 10, 2017 11:08 am

    Thank you for another great story.

    Reply
  15. bob lang - August 10, 2017 11:51 am

    sean, you are a daily blessing. keep doing what you are doing. thanks

    Reply
  16. Deanna J - August 10, 2017 12:17 pm

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    Reply
  17. Mary Beth - August 10, 2017 5:17 pm

    As a young girl, I fell in love with words. I became aware that words were one of our most valuable assets as human beings. With them we can build up & create. With words, we can also tear down & destroy. I learned that while you can forgive harsh words spoken, you never forget them or the effect they had…often with a forever effect.
    You are my hero because you have chosen to use your words to build up, encourage & shine a light on this path called life for souls trying to do good, trying to make it a better place for everyone.
    I am so glad someone shared your post with me. I now have 1 more thing to look forward to every day. May the Father above continue to shine His light on you that you can help keep the path lit for us. You are a blessing, anyway you look at it.

    Reply
  18. Brenda Gruenewald - August 11, 2017 11:10 pm

    Tears from me. Oh, my this was good.

    Reply

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