New Orleans, Louisiana—I saw a homeless man playing guitar. His Labrador sat nearby. His singing voice sounded like a tin bucket scraping against concrete.
The man’s cardboard tip-box was overflowing. Folks took turns throwing handfuls of money in, then they stroked the dog.
The man said he’d found the dog underneath a bridge, years earlier. When he found her, she was even skinnier than he was. He gave her all the food he had, and went to bed hungry.
“This is my girl,” the man said, patting the Labrador’s ribcage. “I thank God for her every day. And she’s my biggest money-maker. Without her, we wouldn’t eat. People just love her.”
But not as much as he does.
Mobile, Alabama—inside Target, a woman’s purse fell from her cart, she didn’t know it. Without skipping a beat, a scruffy boy in a hoodie came behind her. He gathered the contents, then chased after her.
“Ma’am!” he said. “Your purse!”
You should’ve seen the look on her face.
Pensacola, Florida—a parade downtown. I watched an old man struggle to keep up with his family. He moved slow with his walking stick, then fell knees-first on the sidewalk. The noise of the crowd drowned out his shouts.
Two college girls stopped to help him up. They escorted him along the sidewalk, one girl for each arm. The man tried to pay them. They refused. Instead, they spent the next few hours beside him, watching the floats go by, arm in arm.
Montgomery, Alabama—Bo hunts deer. He processes the meat himself, making it into ground venison, sausages, and steaks. Then, he takes it to the nursing home where his mother lives. He stocks the cafeteria freezer.
“I ain’t had deer in years,” said Bo. “Mama and all her boyfriends eat it all up.”
Thursday night is chili-night. Bo plays guitar for his mama and the aforementioned boyfriends. He plays songs like: “Little Brown Church In The Vale,” and, “Old Rugged Cross.”
“I do it ’cause they can’t get out for Sunday services anymore,” he said. “Shoot, I love singing them songs.”
I’ll bet they do, too.
Listen, I watched the news last night, and I’m sorry I did. The broadcast showed our world crumbling, complete with video footage. Violent crimes, shootings, and blood-curdling pharmaceutical commercials. Terrorists killing people, people killing terrorists, politicians killing both.
Hell is a remote-control away, you can see it any time you want. Which is probably why folks think there’s more hate out there than love. Well, who knows, maybe they’re right.
I know a Labrador who believes otherwise.