Love

Yeah. I know. This world isn’t all rainbows, roses, and ice-cream shops. It’s a hard place to live. People are angrier than they used to be. Money gets harder to come by. So do smiles.

Sunset. A high-school graduation. Students in caps and gowns take the football field. I’ve lost my wife in a crowd of parents and teachers.

There’s a woman next to me. She is old, curly white hair. She is missing teeth. Her accent sounds like hard work.

Granny points to the field. “That’s my Robbie,” she tells me. “First in our family to graduate high school. Told him since he was born, ‘You can become anything when you grow up.’”

She is so proud, her buttons are under strain.

The announcer calls Robbie’s name. Granny claps so hard she almost fractures a wrist.

“That’s him,” she says. “Can you see my Robbie?”

Yes’ ma’am.

A shopping mall—a young woman. Her son is the size of a sixth-grader. She holds him on her hip.

“Will you PLEASE take him, honey?” she says.

Her husband is a skinny man with tattoos. He places the kid in a large stroller. The kid starts bawling.

The man wheels the stroller in circles, making airplane noises.

The kid quits fussing and smiles. He hollers something along the lines of:

“Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

The man stops and kisses the kid’s forehead.

“I love you,” he says.

A gas station—a man is walking toward the door. He is wearing basketball shorts and knee-length surgical stockings. There are stitches on his shaved scalp.

A kid out front stabs out a cigarette and opens the door.

When Basketball Shorts shuffles back outside, the young man is waiting. He helps him into his car—a white Ford. He pumps the man’s gas. They talk. They even laugh.

The Ford drives away.

The kid is left, standing at the pump, waving goodbye.

The side of a busy highway—a woman chases a dog along the shoulder. The dog trots away, paying no attention.

“Help,” the frantic woman says. “My dog’s old, he’s deaf. Been chasing him for an hour.”

Two other men hop from stopped vehicles. One man stops oncoming traffic. Another follows the dog into the median with a leash in hand. He catches the animal.

The dog’s name is Bear. He’s sixteen.

Yeah. I know. This world isn’t all rainbows, roses, and ice-cream shops. It’s a hard place to live. People are angrier than they used to be. Money gets harder to come by. So do smiles.

People get offended by the color of your shirt. And in the time it took you to read the last sentence, cancer killed a truckload of innocent folks.

You have every right to lose faith in our world. But don’t.

Look, there’s no reason you should listen to me—I’m a nobody from nowhere, with nary a credential to my hillbilly name.

But before you throw in the towel, you should know that there is more to this place than what’s on the evening news. A lot more. There are things here so majestic they don’t even have words to accompany them.

And if you don’t believe me, you ought to talk to high-school grad, Robbie, sometime.

Because his grandmother is one of those things.

17 comments

  1. Kathy Lane - May 30, 2017 12:54 pm

    There are so many good things in this world if you look for them- like your column

    Reply
  2. Judy Miller - May 30, 2017 1:08 pm

    For sure.

    Reply
  3. Sharon - May 30, 2017 1:19 pm

    I Corinthians 13. The Love Chapter. Read it sometimes.

    Reply
  4. Steven Saunders - May 30, 2017 1:57 pm

    Another Homerun. Having found “Sean of the South” while visiting my son in Pumpain Center, Louisiana seems like karma. After having lived on the other side of the Mason-Dixon for the last 25+ years, I’m finally home. Nothing could be more refreshing than a cup of Community Coffee and anot her great story by Sean of the South!!

    Reply
  5. Steven Saunders - May 30, 2017 1:58 pm

    Another Homerun. Having found “Sean of the South” while visiting my son in Pumpkin Center, Louisiana seems like karma. After having lived on the other side of the Mason-Dixon for the last 25+ years, I’m finally home. Nothing could be more refreshing than a cup of Community Coffee and anot her great story by Sean of the South!!

    Reply
  6. Karen - May 30, 2017 2:41 pm

    Great story full of wisdom! Thank you !! There is a lot to this life and to many throw in the towel to easily. Education so important!!

    Reply
  7. Jack Quanstrum - May 30, 2017 2:49 pm

    Wonderful stories of the different faces of love. All of us can love someone today as we go out our front doors. Your stories Sean, inspire me to look for opportunities to love others in a real authentic way and try and make the world I come in contact with today a better place.

    Reply
  8. Sandi - May 30, 2017 3:23 pm

    For every negative thing, there is also a positive thing happening someplace, somewhere.

    Reply
  9. Janet Mary Lee - May 30, 2017 3:40 pm

    And thanks to you and your gift, the world is a good bit warmer and lighter! We can pass it on!

    Reply
  10. Peg - May 31, 2017 11:00 am

    You did it again, Sean. You made me cry. I am so thankful for the day my friend alerted me to your blog. Good stuff, that we all need to think about in our busy lives! Thank you!

    Reply
  11. Jeannie - May 31, 2017 10:45 pm

    Simply beautiful

    Reply
  12. Ben smith - July 6, 2017 11:01 am

    Awesome story it’s going to be a great day. It sure makes a man think about the days gone by It really does. Like morals and respect. When gas stations where full service and people that stopped their cars to help a older lady catch her dog. God Bless you.Thanks for what you make me remember and think about on this day.

    Reply
  13. Deanna J - July 25, 2017 1:37 pm

    Thank you! Love this!

    Reply
  14. DebbieKnight - July 25, 2017 1:40 pm

    Thank you for GOOD News !!!!! Buying your books today!!!!!!

    Reply
  15. Mary Beth - July 25, 2017 1:42 pm

    It doesn’t take credentials to confirm wisdom or to have knowledge…(both are different you know)! The evidence of both is a life well lived, a heart that cares, an eye that sees & a desire to share with others the inspiration to do the same…like taking up a pen & writing the words to remind us of what that truly is. Another blessing today from your heart! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Jody - July 25, 2017 11:42 pm

      Uplifting. Thank you!

      Reply
  16. Dianne - July 25, 2017 2:36 pm

    When I read your column I usually feel Love.

    Reply

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