A nice car stalls in traffic. Horns honk. People shout. Traffic backs up for miles. In the front seat is an old woman.

Four Mexican men leap out of a nearby dilapidated minivan. They push the woman’s broken down vehicle from a busy intersection.

In the front seat is Jocelyn. A 73-year-old lady with cotton hair. When she is out of harm’s way, one of the men says something in broken English:

“Chew need a ride, ma’am? We can take you wherever chew wanna go.”

They drive her home, across town. She offers to pay for their gas. They decline. So she offers to feed them. They accept. They become lifelong friends. They visit often. They help repair her house. They mow her lawn. Compléteme gratis. She always reimburses them with food.

Years later, Jocelyn dies. At her funeral, Jocelyn’s daughter sees a group of unfamiliar Mexican men standing in the visitation line. She’s never met them. They tell her the story I just told you.

Next, meet Chase. He is middle-aged and clumsy. He has the idea to repair his own roof one day. Bad idea. 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 14-year-old son sees the accident. The boy calls 911, then performs first-aid. The kid even rides to the hospital inside the ambulance with him. When Chase awakens, there is a boy sitting at his bedside, mumbling a prayer. Chase is confused.

“Who are you?”

“I called your wife,” says the tearful kid. “I found her number in your phone.”

That might not sound like a classic tale of heroism to you. But that boy is an adult now and he is an EMT. And also, he is one of Chase’s best friends.

There’s a girl. I’ll call her Karen. As a child, she was abused by her father. Karen leaves the details out when she retells the story to me. Karen left home when she was old enough to drive. She drove six states away and tried to forget her scarred childhood altogether.

And she did forget. One divorce and two kids later, things were looking up for her. She had a job managing a cellphone store, a nice apartment. Then her aunt called one day. Her father was sick. Stomach cancer was eating him from the inside out.

“Why the hell should I care about him?” was Karen’s first response.

But she didn’t sleep for a week thereafter.

So she packed her children and belongings into a Ford Escort and drove six states toward a hole she used to call home. Her father was gaunt and poor. He needed in-home care but couldn’t manage to make it happen.

Karen moved her family into his spare bedroom. They cared for him through the worst. For nearly two years she cooked meals, washed clothes, bathed him, and helped him use a toilet.

And days before his end, his words are: “You must be some kinda angel or something. How can you possibly give a [bleep] about someone like me?”

“I don’t know,” she answers honestly. “Maybe because I love you.”

He asks Karen to forgive him. Karen tells him she already has.

So the news is blaring on a television in my room as I write this. It’s been playing the same sort of thing for days. Men in suits, shouting at one another. Primetime violence. Swearing. Pharmaceutical commercials. Politics. Pop music. Ex-athletes urging you to reverse mortgage your home. Talking heads chewing the same cud they’ve been chewing for weeks.

A news commentator remarks, “This world is in serious trouble, folks.”

Serious trouble. Well, maybe it is. Lord knows, I don’t have the credentials to refute that. Maybe the end of the world is near. Maybe our civilization will only last a few days before going up in flames. Maybe hatred will finally conquer the Earth. Maybe the angry mob wins. Maybe there is no hope for this planet we call home. Maybe. But do you know something? I don’t believe it. And I won’t.

Not after meeting a woman named Karen.


  1. Christina - August 28, 2021 6:51 am

    Not as long as Sean still writes his column.

  2. johnsteinbach - August 28, 2021 9:22 am

    Sean, you say you don’t have the credentials to refute the comment about serious trouble?
    You just did, brother. And thank you!

  3. Christa Gettys - August 28, 2021 9:32 am

    I will never forgive him…I wish I could forget it all…….

    51 years old and still fighting demons I’ve done everything to exorcise. Maybe because I was 7 -8-9-10-11-12-13 before I was able to flee. Heavenly Father watched over me that I never got pregnant by him.

    I did DBT, pretty intense and I had forgotten so much, so much that was buried someplace deep deep down. Well DBT let that Balrog out and I dealt with it. Or so I thought…

    Then came the rona and masks.

    WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT’S HOLY did it have to be something suffocating like a pillow over a 7 year old baby girls face??? I’ve lost my freedom, I’ve lost all I gained. Heavenly Father kinda has me on hold right now, why, who knows, He does this when whatever lesson I’m supposed to learn needs to align with the stars or something.

    Masks, My God, why?????? I could forget so many things, I could move past so many things, but that pillow over my face, wrecked me, ruined me. and even though I got some satisfaction that he suffered a horrific death by skin cancer, that took him a very long time of excruciating suffering to push him away from ever hurting any more babies (he ruined so many of us!!) It was too little too late. He sired a few more babies off of baby girls, ruined way too many little boys, and is still the villain in so many nightmares.

    Forgiveness is simply not an option. Heavenly Father gets it, He knows me better than I know myself, so He gets it. I hated Him too for a while. But He has always brought me home, He has always kept me going (even if He is the one allowing the trials and tribulations, the sorrow and suffering to happen for my benefit- we will be having a very long discussion on that when I cross the veil!)

    I’ve been told I really need to write a book about my life, cause nobody can believe the shite I’ve had to deal with and yet I still go on, I still help others, I’m still a maternal comfort to many. Even though none ever comfort me back. Maybe. I am a writer, it seems vain, and who wants to read a story so lugubrious and horrible as mine? Heavenly Father bless every person who has been able to forgive and forget, who lay those demons to rest and can walk with a lighter heart than mine. You are rare people and so blessed to have gone on to such a level.

    • Christine - August 28, 2021 12:34 pm

      I am so sorry for the unimaginable pain and sorrow you were subjected to as a child. I’m so glad you were able to escape.
      May the God who loves you so much take away the pain you are still feeling and heal your precious heart.

    • Susan Kennedy - August 28, 2021 2:57 pm

      Oh precious Christa…I am so sorry for all that you’ve suffered. God knows how you hurt and he loves you so very much. Never give up. You have a purpose. My heart is broken for you but I know my Jesus can redeem all of your pain. Please know you will be in my prayers. Feel free to email me. Skmcreek10@gmail.com

    • blythe - August 28, 2021 3:23 pm

      crista, today is the day you should forgive him… God wants you to and He will help you forgive him if you let Him. i understand that what you went thru was horrible! God understands too. love you and keep holding on.

    • Stacey Wallace - August 28, 2021 3:33 pm

      Christa, I am so sorry for what you experienced. You are very courageous to share it. Praying for your healing.

    • Ruth Mitchell - August 28, 2021 4:00 pm

      Christa, he’s gone now. I hope you have the strength to let his ugliness no longer have control over you. Nobody else can walk in your shoes for you or say what she/he would do, but you have suffered too much already. If writing your story will help (I suspect it will); do it! God bless you.

    • Nancy Griggs - August 28, 2021 5:20 pm

      Christa, you are a writer. You just wrote a memorable story that many here have read and absorbed and been touched by. You can write and put it in a drawer, but putting it down on paper helps so much and some day someone may open that drawer and find answers to their questions and doubts — or at least find a kindred soul. You are taking every step possible to achieve your goal of forgiveness and you MUST give yourself credit for staying the course. Nothing in this life is 100% anything but you are working the process and you are wherever you are, but you are not stopping the work. Remember that it is a process, not a magic trick, until we reach that moment — in this life or the next — when the epiphany happens. Don’t worry about vanity in writing. Accept it as part of the process. I’m sure you have heard the observation, “The journey is the destination.” Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Lucretia - August 28, 2021 9:36 am

    Amen, Sean, Amen.

  5. Lucretia Jones - August 28, 2021 9:38 am

    Amen, Sean, Amen.

  6. Joan Moore - August 28, 2021 11:17 am

    Thank you for the reminder to bear one another’s burdens. Love and prayers for y’all.

  7. Paul McCutchen - August 28, 2021 12:32 pm

    I have been reading you every morning for some time. I enjoy starting my day on a positive note. I am able to handle the s%*t that the news pushes on us in the name of “we need to know this”. Keep writing and I will keep reading.

  8. Suellen - August 28, 2021 1:00 pm

    I think there are some powerful forces who want to divide us but I always see the good in people until they prove me wrong (which hasn’t happened many times). There are some knuckleheads out there but by nature I’d say we are not racist, sexist, xenophobic, whatever the list of disparaging names are today. We love one another. We care for each other. We go out of our way when we know someone has a need. I can see it now especially as I age. My husband isn’t very mobile after his stroke. I’m hobbling after him on my cane. People jump up and hold doors for us. People want to help us carry things. People stand in line for us and bring our tray of food to us. It’s gotten more noticeable in the last year. I think people are craving human interaction and kindness to combat all the negative that is swirling around us. We will get through this and it is because, as you’ve stated so well, the good in people far outweighs the bad.

  9. Peggy Thompson - August 28, 2021 1:02 pm

    AMEN….great stories of heroes, family, kindness & love….it is still here on earth…we just forget sometimes. Thank you for reminding us. God be with us.

  10. Debbie g - August 28, 2021 1:45 pm

    First. Christa. You have lots of people who love you and will be praying for you
    I m so sorry for the pain you endured and still are May the good Lord give you peace. And Sean thanks for Reminding us of the good love to all ❤️❤️

  11. DAVID A WILSON - August 28, 2021 2:12 pm

    I thought about the news on the TV; then thought about the lady Karen; now I think as you wrote above!!! Again thanks for your good writing!!!

  12. beachdreamer1 - August 28, 2021 2:46 pm

    Thank you Sean for bringing some good news. It’s out there, we just have to look harder. I also read the comments that follow each writing. Especially after reading Christa’s, I realized you not only give us your wonderful stories, but you also give us opportunity to pray for others like Christa. I’ve said before, who knows Sean how far your words travel, how they may benefit others down the road and over the years. But this goes for each of us as well. If you read this Christa, please consider writing your story. I began writing as therapy years ago after a two week stay in a sanitarium. They said on the first day to have someone bring you a composition book and start writing. I did and since have done many things with my writing, including two children’s books. Such good therapy!! God bless you all. Please know that people do care and God loves you so very much!!❤️

  13. Nancy Wood - August 28, 2021 3:10 pm

    I refuse to let the news steal my joy. We can cave or we can hang on and look for the good stuff. Thank you for being a champion of the good stuff.

  14. Tommy Artmann - August 28, 2021 3:10 pm

    This is a beautiful and hopeful article! I believe what you say is true. There are many good people. One person at a time we make a difference in one life at a time.

  15. Stacey Wallace - August 28, 2021 3:17 pm

    God bless you, Sean. Praying for you and Jamie.

  16. Lulu - August 28, 2021 3:46 pm

    Good is around us…and you know, Sean, evil will not win because God is in control and God Bats Last.

  17. Gayle Wilson - August 28, 2021 4:18 pm

    Sean, thank you for your words of reassurance. There will always be good in the world. We just need to drown out the noise and negativity. And as Mr Roger’s mother told him – “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

  18. Robyn - August 28, 2021 4:24 pm

    Thank you Sean. This is why we need you every day to remind us of our humanity. We forget. We need these reminders even when our mothers (or mothers in laws) pass, when we cry, and despair. Thank you did not stopping writing. We need you and I think you need us too. Always, Robyn. p.s. really someday I hope we can travel again & you can do what you do so well. I gotta hug your neck!

  19. Cynthia Russell - August 28, 2021 4:28 pm

    Thank You for this…. Bless You!

  20. Jenny Brannan - August 28, 2021 4:39 pm

    One of the best. And I really needed to read it this morning. Thank you.

  21. Bill Harris - August 28, 2021 4:53 pm

    Thank you Sean.

  22. Emily - August 28, 2021 4:57 pm

    Thank you. I needed to hear that today!

  23. Lee - August 28, 2021 5:05 pm

    Ode to Joy Flash Mob:

    • Nancy Griggs - August 28, 2021 5:29 pm

      Yes! JOY! Thank you!!

  24. Linda Moon - August 28, 2021 5:58 pm

    Earlier today I was thinking about the “goodest” person I know. Goodness gracious, how do these posts from my inbox so often seem to know who and what have been on my mind? But I won’t comment more about “climbs on the house” to repair gutters affixed to our roof, and I sure won’t mention the climber’s age (a long way from middle, and I won’t divulge the mileage). A man I’ve met named Sean and a woman named Jamie bring me hope. Let’s all keep believing in the good. It’s here in all the good people.

  25. Karen Snyder - August 28, 2021 6:16 pm

    I cannot tell you how many days it’s been since I even turned on the television set. There’s more than enough heartache and horrible sneaking in without offering up an invitation to it on a big screen.

    Christa, write it, and then burn or otherwise destroy it if you can’t bear to share it. Symbolism can be beneficial.

    Lulu, I had never heard “God bats last.” I’m stealing that.😊

    Thank you, Sean for sharing the goodness most humans still display. We get to witness that here every day.💙

  26. pianoman365Dereck Barnes - August 28, 2021 7:27 pm

    Hi Sean, My name is Dereck Barnes. I saw you along with my wife a couple of years ago, when you spoke at a dinner function for Lead Academy. Since that time, I have been keeping up with your posts through my wife, who was a teacher at the school. Now, she teaches at Santa Rosa Christian School. I am the blind guy who played the piano that night. I recently subscribed to your column, and I absolutely love it. You just have such a way of putting things in to perspective. I just wanted to tell you, keep up the wonderful work. I get up early every morning to do a 2 hour radio show on my internet station, 95 The Mix. It is only an internet station, so you can’t get it on regular radio. The website is 95-the-mix.com. It is an all Christian station. and I do a 2 hour show every week day morning, from 6 to 8 AM, central time. I so very much appreciate you, and that you do. Please don’t ever stop doing this. It gives us all something to look forward to every morning. God bless you and your family.

  27. Patricia Gibson - August 28, 2021 7:37 pm

    I think there is a lot of good out there too❤️

  28. Peggy ALEXANDER - August 28, 2021 8:03 pm

    Yes. God bats last. He is also IN CONTROL ALL THE TIME!!! DON’T GIVE UP ON JESUS CRISTA, JOB DIDN’T. Seek him with all of your heart ❤️ and soul.

  29. Cara - August 28, 2021 10:25 pm

    Thanks so much for a positive message today!

  30. Ann - August 29, 2021 12:59 am

    Thank you, Sean

  31. David Parre - August 29, 2021 8:30 pm

    Thx, Sean. I needed that reminder that good still exist and can conquer the evil in our hearts.

  32. Kathy - August 31, 2021 3:21 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to this people. Love.


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