I’ll call him Bobby. He was a sheriff’s deputy for a small area. Bobby stopped on the highway to help a young mother with a flat tire. While the woman’s four-year-old watched Bobby loosen lug nuts, a car swerved toward them. Bobby’s first instinct was to shove the child out of the way. He did.
After years of physical therapy, and handfuls of surgeries, Bobby uses a walker and drools while he eats.
He says, with labored speech, “I’d do it all over again. In a heartbeat.”
Here’s another: in the supermarket parking lot, a teenage girl choked inside her car. By pure chance, two construction workers pulled alongside the girl and noticed her in the front seat, red-faced. When they tried to open her car door, it was locked—the girl almost unconscious.
One of the men used a hammer to smash her window, dragged her out of the car, then performed the Heimlich.
Today, she’s a real estate agent.
Outside Alexandria, Louisiana: two teenagers discovered a homeless man’s camp one day while he was away. The next day, the kids delivered several wagons of canned food, pasta, rice, potatoes, snacks, and coffee. Enough provisions to last a decade.
One of those teenagers— an adult now—told me, “I’ve always believed good deeds should be secrets. I never told anyone that story.”
Or how about Pastor John: when John’s wife left him, the Southern Baptists excommunicated him. A twenty-two-year career went down the pipe—along with his confidence.
John hit the saloon and got tight as a tick. It was his first time touching a drop since age fifteen. That night, John walked the yellow lines on the highway, dodging cars. Crying.
An elderly lady found him at a gas station, shoeless.
“John,” she said. “God wants you to know that he loves you, and so do I. Now get in this car.”
As it happens, that woman wasn’t even a churchgoer.
Let me be frank, sometimes I don’t know what’s happened to the world. Each day it’s something worse. If it’s not a mosquito-borne disease killing babies, it’s a terrorist massacre in a public place. This world is a briar patch, and it gets harder to find any blackberries for picking.
Then, I read an email from a friend who’s just checking in, because he cares.
And it’s signed, Bobby.