A nice car stalls in traffic. Horns honk. People shout. Four Mexican men leap out of a dilapidated minivan. They push the broken down vehicle from a busy intersection.
In the front seat: Jocelyn. A seventy-three-year-old woman.
When she is out of harm’s way, one of the men says something in English:
“You need a ride, ma’am? We’ll take you wherever you wanna go.”
They drive her home, across town. She offers to pay for their gas. They decline. She offers to feed them. They accept.
Years later, Jocelyn dies. At her funeral, Jocelyn’s daughter sees a group of unfamiliar Mexican men.
Chase. He is middle-aged and clumsy. He has the idea to repair his own roof. He climbs on the house while his wife is away.
He loses his footing. He trips. The shrubs break his fall—and his leg.
A neighbor’s fourteen-year-old son sees the accident. The boy calls 911, then performs first-aid. The kid even rides to the hospital inside the ambulance.
When Chase awakens, there is a boy, sitting at his bedside, mumbling a prayer.
“Called your wife,” says the kid. “I found her number in your phone.”
There’s a girl. I’ll call her Karen. As a child, she was raped and abused by her father. Karen left home when she was old enough to drive. She drove six states away and tried to forget her childhood.
And she did. One divorce and two kids later, things were looking up. She had a job managing a cellphone store, a nice apartment.
Her aunt called one day. Her father was sick. Stomach cancer was eating him from the inside out.
“Why the hell should I care?” was Karen’s response.
She didn’t sleep for a week thereafter.
She packed her children and belongings into a Ford Escort and drove six states toward a hell-hole she used to call home.
Her father was gaunt and poor. He needed in-home care.
She moved her family into his spare bedroom. For nearly two years she cooked meals, washed clothes, bathed him, and helped him use a toilet.
And days before his end, his words were:
“You must be some kinda angel or something. How can you possibly give a $%*& about someone like me?”
“I don’t know,” she says. “Because I love you.”
He asks Karen to forgive him.
So the news is blaring on a television in my room. It’s been playing the same angry scene for five days. An unruly crowd. Riots. Barricades, torches, and policemen bearing helmets and shields.
Footage of one man punching another. Swearing. Stomping. Pharmaceutical commercials. Politics.
A news commentator remarks, “Our world is in serious trouble tonight, folks.”
Serious trouble. Well, maybe it is. Who am I to claim otherwise? Nobody. That’s who.
Maybe this is the end of the world. Maybe our civilization will only last a few days before going up in flames. Maybe hatred will finally conquer the world. Maybe the angry mob wins. Maybe there is no hope for this planet we call home. Maybe.
But I don’t believe it.
And I won’t.
Not after meeting Karen.
Candy Clark - August 17, 2017 1:10 pm
AMEN!!!! Keep telling it like you see it! We see it too!
Ann Cunningham - August 17, 2017 1:11 pm
Thank you for the post today. We see these Kind acts all the time but we often miss it because we are so focused on the bad. I stopped watching the news years ago, mainly because I couldn’t afford cable, but also because it was too…what’s the word? Not depressing, not dark…angry and hateful. That’s it. It’s good to be reminded to look for the good. Thank you.
Jean - August 17, 2017 1:11 pm
It hurts my heart to see all the hate on media coverage but, I’m with you, Sean. I know there is more good than bad and we will be ok.
Cathi Russell - August 17, 2017 1:21 pm
You did it again. Weepy glees.
Brian - August 17, 2017 1:22 pm
I’ve also stopped watching and listening to the media, as many have. Where would you go to get ‘old fashioned’ news, Sean? The way it used to be, “opinions not voiced, little spin, watch to see what’s going on but not despairing because someone wants you to know what the ‘other side’ is doing” news? Is there some site, some paper, some channel like that anywhere?
Vevia - August 18, 2017 3:18 am
While I doubt the “news” was ever objective, I understand what you are saying. Human dignity, respect for our neighbors, compassion, understanding, civility and tolerance among neighbors. This is the American Way.
God, Home and Country
Catherine - August 17, 2017 1:22 pm
We cannot allow evil to win. Keep telling the good stuff Sean.
Anne Trawick - August 17, 2017 1:47 pm
This is why I love reading you.
Connie - August 17, 2017 1:54 pm
Thank you for the timely reminder that there are good people out there. We all need to hear it lately.
Rosanna - August 17, 2017 1:55 pm
Your words encourage me everyday. Thanks for being a kind, compassionate voice in the midst of madness.
Love wins. I’m glad you have something to say.
lpmartin - August 17, 2017 2:21 pm
Thank you for reminding us. These days it is easy to forget.
Marty from Alabama - August 17, 2017 2:22 pm
Karen – the epitome of what real love is. She is living the Gospel.
NovaLee - August 17, 2017 2:42 pm
Thank you, Sean. We really needed this today.?
Kathy Ball - August 17, 2017 2:50 pm
Thank you, Sean! Your writings and stories keep me coming back for more! Simple truths touch my heart deeply! You are a good man!
Jeannie - August 17, 2017 2:51 pm
Wish, oh wish, that at the beginning and end of every “news” program we could see a moment with Sean. What a wonderful world we live in!
Trudy :) - August 17, 2017 2:54 pm
“Be kind to others; you never know what demons they are fighting. The true character of a person is measured by the way they treat another knowing there is nothing in it for them. Do not judge another until you have walked a mile in their shoes.” These are all platitudes which, in essence, represent a statement from the Bible, “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.” My sweet and wise mother used to tell me, “In thought, word, and deed it is your conscience you will feed.” I find myself telling that to my children, too.
Judy - August 17, 2017 3:28 pm
Mindblowing. If I wasn’t already a rock-ribbed staunch Sean fan, this story would have made me one. Keep shining your light, boy. You got something special.
Fredda Shutes - August 17, 2017 3:47 pm
Your posts always make me have more faith in humanity. If the news media would focus on the good instead of the bad, I believe this country would not have so much violence and animosity toward each other.
Thank you for showing the good in everyday people.
Pat - August 17, 2017 4:11 pm
Look not at someone’s face or skin color, look instead at their heart…….THAT tells you all you need to know.
Perri Geaux Tigers Williamson - August 17, 2017 4:20 pm
THANK YOU for pointing out the good. It doesn’t sell stuff…but it can be found everywhere if the media hasn’t beaten you into believing their version of OUR story.
Jack Quanstrum - August 17, 2017 5:36 pm
Wow, what a story. Great example of Agape Love. Inspirational for me to try and replicate that kind of positive passion towards another that hurt me so badly. But I have been working on that the last 22 years and now through your inspirational stories I am making progress. Thank you Sean for your writings. Keep them coming. Your helping me and others tremendously.
Donna Holifield - August 17, 2017 6:06 pm
Janet Mary Lee - August 17, 2017 7:06 pm
Thank you for all these important reminders! That is what life should be made of!!
Anne Carpenter - August 17, 2017 8:52 pm
More…we need more! More of this kind of writing, more of this kind of thinking! Thank you for spreading a message of the power of positive thinking. Messages that make us feel good, about ourselves and about each other! Thank you for sharing that special something that God placed inside of you!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - August 17, 2017 9:28 pm
Oh, Sean!! My Hubby and I are so sad at times. Your posts give me hope that there are good people out there. After this weekend — the hatred and lies and deceptions. What are we to do?? History is what it is. Live with it and make it better. Tearing down statues isn’t going to change it. We have a wonderful country. And yes, some of our leaders had warts for all to see — but that was the country at that time. What are we doing allowing this to happen? And the lack of respect for our President?? It breaks my heart.
Barbara Nelle Ewell - August 17, 2017 10:14 pm
I am grateful to Sean for reminding me that there are Karens in this world. They are shining examples for us all. Torches to light our paths. But there are also 20-year-old souls out there carrying torches who have threatened their wheelchaired mothers with knives and who drive silver cars into crowds of people. Perhaps knowing about this one Karen will help me come to terms with a boy from Ohio who was in Virginia last week, though I may have to wait until he gets stomach cancer.
Cyndia - August 18, 2017 12:05 am
I hear you.
Cyndia - August 18, 2017 12:04 am
I could be Karen. My father died last year after years of fighting cancer. I didn’t go see him. There were never any apologies or regrets. I didn’t go to his funeral. Karen is no better or no worse than I am. We each have to do as our conscience allows, and sometimes forgiveness happens best from a place of safety.
Susan in Georgia - August 18, 2017 5:32 am
Remarkable. Thanks, Sean, for giving us glimpses of the “Good” in our everyday lives.
Lucretia - August 18, 2017 6:03 am
Yes I too believe that there is a lot of good every day.
Pamela McEachern - August 18, 2017 9:18 am
Karen is who I aspire to be like. About the state of our universe, I choose hope. Thank you
Laura Jernigan Hauth - October 1, 2017 2:16 pm
Thank you, Sean. I needed that. Hope and kindness are amazing blessings. You have reminded us that there are angels among us who keep hope alive.
Barbara Bray - December 27, 2018 5:43 pm
Keep preaching, Brother….the world needs to hear it.