I have here a letter from Fayetteville, North Carolina.

“Dear Sean,” the handwritten letter begins. “My name is Christine and I wanted to share a story with you… In 1985 I was driving home to North Carolina, and I was probably suffering from depression. It had been a really bad year…”

It was nearly Christmas. Christine was stuck behind nine million miles of glowing tail lights in a traffic jam. Her 7-year-old daughter was in the backseat singing with the radio. The defroster was fogging up the windshield.

“How much longer till we get to Granny’s?” said the little girl.

“Almost there,” said Christine, just like she’d been saying every five minutes for the last four states.

Christine cranked up the radio to drown out her daughter’s interrogations. Gene Autry was singing full blast. Christine looked in the rear view mirror to see her daughter, driving an imaginary sleigh.

It had indeed been a very long, hard year. How hard? After a disastrous breakup, Christine lost everything and was kicked out of her apartment. She was homeless, and flat broke. She was going home to North Carolina to beg her estranged mother to allow her to move back in.

This trip was a last resort.

She had barely enough pennies to get them to the Old North State. She and her daughter had been surviving on JIF and Corn Nuts.

Up ahead, there was a man walking on the highway in the dark drizzle. He was wearing a tattered peacoat, his face was a veritable hair explosion. He shuffled between the standstill cars, knocking on windows, speaking to drivers in the traffic jam.

A few motorists gave him handouts; most refused to roll down the window.

In a few moments, the man was knocking on Christine’s glass.

She wasn’t sure how to respond. The protective mother in her would have ignored him, just to be safe. The human being inside her would do no such thing.

Still, she kept an attitude of caution when she talked to him. You know the attitude I mean. It’s a cold, almost impolite tone often used to address the homeless.

“Can I help you?” said Christine.

“Yes’m. I was just wondering if you had any spare quarters…”

As the words exited his mouth she realized something profound. Christine and this man were not all that different. Not really. They were both homeless. They were both broke.

The man wore fingerless gloves, his shoes looked as though they had four hundred thousand miles on the soles. He wore an Army ball cap.

“…Kinda having a rough Christmas, ma’am. Every little bit helps.”

His breath was flammable with the scent of liquor. And he smelled like sour sweat.

“I don’t have any money,” she said cooly. “I’m sorry.”

He tipped his hat. “Sorry to bother you, ma’am. Merry Christmas.”

The man readjusted his enormous duffle bag and began walking onward through the highway sludge. She watched the man in the glow of her high beams and felt her heart move a little.

“Wait!” she shouted.

She almost couldn’t believe what she was about to offer. She half wished she could swallow the words before they came out. But then, this felt like the right thing to do.

“How about a ride?”

In only moments, the man was thanking her lavishly, crawling into the front seat, blowing warm air into his hands. They drove in relative silence for miles. He was quiet, and a polite travel companion.

The little girl was the first to break the ice. “Are you a bum?”

Her mother scolded her.

The man smiled. “No, it’s okay.” He faced the girl. “I’m not a bum, just a traveler.”

“Are you homeless?”


“Where’s your house?”

He pointed upward. “I got me a mansion up there.”



The little girl’s voice developed a higher pitch. “Then what’re you doing down here in the snow?”

He shrugged. “I keep asking myself the same question.”

“Are you ever lonely?”

“Ever’ day.”

“Don’t you get cold?”

“I do.”

They drove for hours. The man fell asleep in Christine’s car until the interior smelled of booze and nuclear b.o. fumes. When he awoke, the man pointed to a highway exit in the windshield. “This is where I get off, ma’am.”

She pulled over at a Shell Station. The snow was falling hard when she bid the man goodbye. For their farewell, the man removed his glove and shook her hand.

And as they pumped hands, something came over her. She pulled the man into herself for a full-on embrace. This startled the man at first, but he squeezed back.

“This is the first time I been touched in a long time,” he said.

Before they parted ways, Christine dug into her pocketbook and handed him three twenties. “I’m sorry it’s not more,” she said. “But money’s tight right now.”

The man’s eyes became glazed. Tears rolled down his face and cut flesh-colored trails upon his filthy cheeks. “Thank you, ma’am,” he said.

Then he was gone.

Christine walked inside the station to use the restroom, to buy some Corn Nuts, and God willing, to buy a cup of Joe that would carry her to North Carolina. When she got back to her car she found something sitting in her driver’s seat. It was a bank envelope.

Inside were three crisp hundred-dollar bills. She had no idea where they came from. And 36 years later, she still doesn’t.

“How much longer till we get to Granny’s?” shouted the little girl.

“Almost there,” she said.

Almost there.


  1. Barbara J Schweck - December 7, 2021 6:17 am

    Haven’t read this yet, I read it in the morning with breakfast. But you sure are up late!!!!

  2. Holly Lebed - December 7, 2021 7:30 am


  3. Paul McCutchen - December 7, 2021 11:53 am

    Thanks Sean, sometimes a little holiday giving is nice to hear about.

  4. Rhonda - December 7, 2021 12:01 pm

    I have a different but similar story. My husband of 2 years left me for a younger woman 18 years ago.
    We had just purchased a new TV
    I got the house and most of the belongings in the settlement. However, for some reason it worked out I was to pay him for our new TV. So I was going to give him 200 a month for 10 months.
    It seemed outrageous I was paying MY husband for OUR TV. On the day I was to give him the first payment, I drove around for hours in the rain just talking to God. My last stop I was at a local nursery and walked in the rain looking at flowers and praying.
    When I walked back to my car, I saw something green in the dirt under my tire. I backed up a bit so I could retrieve whatever it was. It was 200.00 in cash. Unbelievable. I just threw my head back and laughed, I knew God was saying “I’ve got you covered”.
    So I peacefully drove to my husband office and gave him the check I had made out earlier for 200.00

  5. Rhonda - December 7, 2021 12:02 pm

    Correction. Husband of 26 yesrs

  6. Joy Jacobs - December 7, 2021 12:02 pm

    Love ❤️ this. Thanks for the Christmas cheer. My life is great.

  7. Janet - December 7, 2021 12:11 pm

    Your story gave me chills! Seems so simple, if we’d only just believe! Thank you, Sean, for helping my unbelief.

  8. Dianne DeVore - December 7, 2021 12:32 pm

    Tears to start my day, Sean. What a beautiful story of following one’s heart and listening to God. You made my day.

  9. Maria Linkhart - December 7, 2021 12:46 pm

    Simply Beautiful.

  10. Holly Lee - December 7, 2021 1:07 pm

    I’m not crying, I’m not crying.

  11. Linda clifton - December 7, 2021 1:09 pm

    Merry Christmas to you & your family. I really enjoy your writings! May our New Year be full of light & joy & most of all love!

  12. Gayle Dodds - December 7, 2021 1:16 pm

    God does work in strange ways

  13. Cathy M - December 7, 2021 1:29 pm

    I no longer believe in coincidence. There are angels among us😇❤️🎄

  14. Suellen - December 7, 2021 1:59 pm

    I’ve tried explaining this to people at church. There are so many that want to hold onto their money or argue about the church spending money. We were at one church that had been given a $100,000 endowment when a lady died and they were saving it for a “rainy day” and wouldn’t spend a penny of it. When we arrived they were unable to even pay the Pastor all of his salary but they wouldn’t touch that money. Hey your rainy day is here! I firmly believe that if you give rightly and freely God will multiply it. It will be given back to you. I’ve definitely seen it in my own life.

  15. Ruth Mitchell - December 7, 2021 2:02 pm

    You just cannot out give God!

    • Erin W - December 15, 2021 3:34 am

      Yes! Well said, Ruth!

  16. Christian West - December 7, 2021 2:08 pm

    Got to stop reading your “stuff.” I don’t have time for the tears. I know where the hundreds came from. . .and imagine you do too.

  17. Stacey Wallace - December 7, 2021 2:17 pm

    That man was an angel in disguise. Thanks, Sean. Please keep writing. We need your words now more than ever. Love to you and Jamie.

    • Dorie Kelly - December 12, 2021 4:57 pm

      Folks like that….”angels of the earth.”

  18. Pamela Williams - December 7, 2021 2:24 pm

    ❤️ Thank you for the reminder of every human’s worth, Sean.

  19. bubbastubbs - December 7, 2021 3:02 pm

    G’morning, Sean! We were fortunate to see your last concert in Milton, FL, at the Imogene Theater this past Thursday night. It was a real blast—thanks for making us laugh so hard that we had tears running down our faces! Anyhow, back to today’s blog piece—I STILL need a good laugh. It’s obvious that God truly does speak to us through mysterious ways. As He did through the stranger to Christine, we’re often reminded that, in spite of the difficulties that life sometimes sends our way, we continue to be blessed in so many ways that might not at first seem clear to us. Such was the case of my good friend Otis. Otis came to us some twelve years ago as the last pick. From the onset, he proved to be most mischievous, tearing up my wife’s favorite carpets, often stealing off with just ONE of our flip flops from the front porch, and quickly catching any tissues that we might drop on the ground, chewing them up into what seemed to be a thousand pieces! As we began our RV “adventures”, we could always find him lying at the foot of our camper steps—never wanting to miss out on an opportunity to travel with us! As he began to age, it became obvious that Otis (named after Otis Campbell of Mayberry fame) was suffering from arthritis in his hips and, upon a recent trip to his doctor, was diagnosed with a tumor on his windpipe, making breathing extremely hard and affecting both is lungs and heart. Simply put, Otis was family! All of our grandchildren practically grew up with him and, since his first arrival, he had clearly established himself as one of us.
    Needless to say, as his “time” neared, we had to make an extremely difficult decision on his behalf. Just yesterday, we took our 12-year old Otis, a chocolate lab who, in spite of his seriously declining health, still thought of himself and acted like that “last-of-the-litter”, to our local veterinarian and had him put down. Both my wife and I are still finding ourselves crying over his passing and I’m sure we’ll do the same for a time well into the future. To prove that point, this morning I’m finding myself looking up the hill to our barn, expecting my old buddy to come rambling out at any minute now, in expectation of his morning feeding.
    Yes, Sean, the good Lord still continues to bless us, often in spite of ourselves, and this “Season of Giving” is certainly no exception. While dogs may not have a true soul, I’m certain that they DO possess a spirit, and that spirit continues to live out in the lives of their owners for an eternity. God bless you, Otis, for the life and impact which you made in our lives!
    Love, Poppa

    Otis Campbell (Tunnell) IV…RIP

    (Sean, so sorry to get so long winded. Being one who’s technically challenged, I just didn’t know how to email you directly. Thanks for letting me vent and helping me grieve!)

  20. Maggie Priestaf - December 7, 2021 3:10 pm

    Takes your breath away…

  21. George - December 7, 2021 3:12 pm

    Sean, some of your stories make me smile, some make me laugh. The Fayetteville story made an old man cry (I’m in my 70’s). I’m reminded again that I have been truly blessed.

  22. Jan - December 7, 2021 4:38 pm

    Crying … again! Love this!

  23. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - December 7, 2021 5:25 pm

    Angels come in many forms.

  24. Tim - December 7, 2021 6:05 pm

    When I was hungry you fed me
    When I was thirsty you gave me to drink
    When I was naked you gave me clothes and when I was in prison you visited me.
    Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
    That was the gist of the video of a link a reader posted recently and i want to live that every day.
    Thank you Sean and thanks to your posters too

  25. Edna H. Isdell - December 7, 2021 8:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing—such a beautiful story.

  26. MaryAnn A Dunham - December 7, 2021 8:51 pm

    All I can say is, “WOW!”

  27. missusmux - December 7, 2021 8:57 pm

    God works in mysterious ways. Thanks to you and the lady who supplied the message of God’s provision. I have also been the recipient of His provision in usual ways and always just in the nick of time. God bless!

  28. Linda Moon - December 7, 2021 10:06 pm

    I love peacoats. I haven’t thought of that style in a long time, and I’m glad I just did. Two hard-working single moms with their little girls (one of whom was me) picked up a hitchhiker while driving to Weeki Wachee. There was no envelope with gas money or anything else left behind after we dropped the hitchhiker off. But he thanked us. So we safely resumed our trip without the stranger we’d picked up, and we left Weeki Wachee later on for the long drive back home sans hitchhiker and most of our money. We left with our hearts and heads full of kindness and good memories!

  29. MAM - December 7, 2021 10:35 pm

    The eye faucets runneth over today. But I do love these stories, Sean. They bring back our faith in humankind, as well as more importantly our faith in God and His angels!

  30. marilyn - December 7, 2021 11:45 pm

    As I was driving to visit my son in the hospital today, there was a man (homeless?) in the same spot as there was one last week. I didn’t give the first man anything but said to myself that the next time I was going to give whoever was standing there some money. It felt good to do that, whether he was using it wisely or just “making money,” was not for me to judge. 🙏

  31. Susie Flick - December 8, 2021 2:36 am

    Wasn’t able to read this one until this evening after appointments and baking gingerbread biscotti (hoping it turns out as delicious as what I was gifted to taste in addition to someone sharing the recipe).

    This is about the true spirit of Christmas and feeling in your heart, that whatever God you believe in, is around us all the time. The “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers’ for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

    I have been through lots of challenges, struggles and health issues in my 70 years but I have survived it all and feel blessed and grateful to be who I am today. If I hadn’t had those challenges, etc, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

    This writing made me tear up and say “oh my”! Love your daily missive to make us all aware of strangers that are angels. Hoping I have done the same for others.


  32. Patricia Gibson - December 8, 2021 11:20 pm

    Wonderful story!!

  33. Chasity Davis Ritter - January 1, 2022 2:59 am

    Sometimes I miss an email and find them later to read. This is a good one. Sometimes we just don’t know what a hug can do for someone. I hated the time of no hugging with worry of the past two years. We need hugs and touch and caring and being kind to others. God bless those that find a way to share.


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