A gas station. Rural east Texas. A young man sits in front of the ice machine, and he’s babbling nonsense. He is shirtless. He is dirty. People pass him as they walk into the convenience store.

But one old man doesn’t.

Because this old man has been homeless before. He knows what’s going on. The old man knows that about 30 percent of homeless persons are mentally ill. He knows that 30 percent are addicted. He knows this kid is probably blitzed out of his gourd on a substance.

The old man knows all this because he was once that guy.

The old man makes a few calls. In a few minutes an Episcopal priest and a few other church members are standing before the young shirtless man. They are asking him if he has anywhere to spend the night. They’re offering him a hand.

The young man sees the priest’s collar and he starts to cry.

“Please help me,” the kid sobs. “I don’t want to live like this anymore.”

Within minutes, the kid is taken to the hospital. An anonymous donor pays for him to visit rehab. The kid is clean within a month. That was 15 years ago. Today, the kid is an employee at the same rehab that saved him.

Cincinnati. Her family moved to this town for work. After a year, she learned her husband was having an affair. Her competition was a 22-year-old. She caught them in the act. And she almost had a nervous breakdown.

After the divorce, she never thought she would love again. So she raised kids on her own. She got a job working at K-Mart. She disappeared into the throngs of working-class Americans.

Until she met Ron. Ron was a widower with three kids of his own. He worked in the stock room. He was cute. One day, he worked up the nerve to ask her out. He asked her to go rollerskating for a first date.

“Huh?” she said.

“Well,” said Ron. “Every Saturday, I take my kids rollerskating.”

So—why not?—she went rollerskating. When the DJ played “Too Much Heaven,” Ron asked her to couple-skate. The rest is history. They have been married for 30 years.

Now let’s go to Atlanta. A young man, who we’ll call Brent, worked in a small used auto dealership. One day the doctor found something on his skin. The doc had it checked out. It was cancer. The bad kind.

Brent was going to die. That’s what the professionals said. The cancer had probably already metastasized.

Enter Caroline. Caroline was Brent’s coworker. She started an email prayer chain. “Prayers for Brent” was the subject line of her emails. She had people praying far and wide.

“I even had folks praying in Russia, Italy, and Saudi Arabia,” Caroline said.

Brent’s next checkup was looming, just around the corner. He had no idea that Caroline had started an email prayer chain. Before Brent’s appointment, Caroline sent an email to the prayer chain, informing everyone that Brent’s follow-up appointment was on Monday.

People came from all over to be there.

Brent showed up to his appointment that morning, and was amazed to see the lobby of the medical office was teeming with strangers. Some held signs that read “We Love You Brent!”

He had no idea what was going on, then someone told him about the prayer chain.

But wait. It gets better.

Brent went to his appointment, and the doctor could not believe the scans. They could not find a trace of cancer on Brent’s body. Brent was all clear.

Brent entered the lobby to a cheering crowd.

And if all this sounds like a Hallmark B.S. to you, I don’t blame you. There was a time in my life when I would have agreed wholeheartedly. Life is a puke sandwich. Eat it or starve. Miracles are only true in a Spielberg world. That was my philosophy.

But then I met you. You started emailing me stories. Your stories. The stories come by the metric ton. I receive them every day. I have received these tales each day for the last decade. Stories of miracles. Of wonderful moments.

And each time I begin to doubt the goodness of this universe, I read your emails. And something happens to me. I think about things. Big things.

I think, often, about a man who used to sit in front of an ice machine in rural Texas. And I think of the words he recently sent to me.

“A long time ago I thought this world was pure $#*%, man. But you know what? I’m glad I was wrong.”

Hear, hear.


  1. Eva - March 2, 2023 6:44 am

    It is Really Good to be wrong sometimes!

  2. Dolores - March 2, 2023 10:52 am

    You can watch media news and you’ll be angrily shaking your fist at the screen or clutching your pearls in absolute terror. Or it may be you were born into the most undesirable conditions on earth with little semblance of family or love. Either way fear and anger skew your perception of life, something inside ‘gives up’. Defeated. When we believe the liar, evil seizes the opportunity and sets up camp.

    Or you can surrender to a Power that has already defeated evil. Yes, we still contend with a fallen world. But it was never our battle to fight. It turns out in our search for life’s greatest meaning it is as simple as doing good. Being kind. Selfless. In helping others we heal and help ourselves. Countering evil with subtle victories.

    Congratulations to the three champions you wrote about. And to the one who writes about them.

  3. Jan - March 2, 2023 11:04 am

    Such beauty in this world. I am so thankful that you open my eyes to that beauty each and every day!
    Thank you for sharing these!

  4. MissusMux - March 2, 2023 11:32 am

    God, the Creator is Good. Oftentimes, His care and love is delivered through others. Like you, Sean, spreading good news, miracles, answers to prayer. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. lesliehanson411hotmailcom - March 2, 2023 12:05 pm

    I know you are a very popular guy and everyone shares their stories with you = good, bad and/or ugly and you always know the right thing to say. You and your columns are God blessed. My story is a happy one. Met and married in 1965 at age 18, had 3 children, divorced in 1976, Very amicable divorce -co-parented between California and Florida and shared all major events for kids = they were first. We saw each other at every major event throughout the years. We each remarried but had no other children. Forty years later we each became widowed about the same time and he retired to Florida to be closer to our daughters. We shared our interests, hobbies and family and found out that we really did belong together. So with 40 year break our daughters arranged a beautiful wedding for us at the Old Christ Church in historic Pensacola complete with Mardi Gras parade to Seville Quarter for reception. 40 years to the date of our first wedding. Now married for 6 years and thanking God for the opportunity to spend our final years together. Lesson learned to always be amazed at the plans God has for you!

  6. Bob Moser - March 2, 2023 1:07 pm

    For the last two days I have received two copies of the same column. Love your writings.

  7. Nancy L Heitzman - March 2, 2023 1:10 pm

    Thank you so much for your inspirational writing. I, too, recently experienced God’s healing power. I feel great, I have a peace over me I have never had before and I have a deeper relationship with God.

  8. Pam Williams - March 2, 2023 1:19 pm

    I’m so glad you share these stories, Sean. In a world that is often hard to see good things, you keep sharing the stories shared with you and my heart is full up again! Thank you. ♥️

  9. Linda Lewis - March 2, 2023 1:24 pm

    Thank you for these heartwarming stories. They made me feel good and warm. Life is good.

  10. Lun Brown - March 2, 2023 1:48 pm


  11. Fran Willard - March 2, 2023 2:03 pm

    Wonder, very inspiring!!

    • Chalmer Miller's Favorite Granddaughter Melissa - March 2, 2023 4:20 pm

      I have soooo missed Paul Harvey with his “Rest of the story….” Well, now I have decided that you have come to replace the space he left during a very different season in my journey down this road we call life. Thank you for your uplifting and inspiring short stories. I always try to see the glass as half full while some see it as half empty. I have had enough heart ache in my life for several people and if I decided to “live in it”, I would not be living, but, burrow under a rock. As I say, my life has not been the story I would have written, but, it continues to be sweet!!! I just keep putting one foot in front of another toward the cross. We are so blessed to have been born in USA. God is good all the time!!! Thanks!

  12. Anne Arthur - March 2, 2023 2:20 pm

    You are the eye opener appointed by God to show the world how good He is and how good most of us are. The thugs are few, but good people reign.
    Thanks for using your writing talent, Sean.

    • June Pryor - March 2, 2023 8:54 pm

      Amen to Anne Artthur’s comment and your column

  13. David Britnell - March 2, 2023 2:45 pm

    Loved these stories. God is good!

  14. Cozette Coats - March 2, 2023 2:54 pm

    Prayer works. God is on the throne.

  15. Celia - March 2, 2023 4:26 pm

    Why I bother to put on eye makeup before I read you everyday, Sean, I will never know. I’m reminded of my lung cancer diagnosis almost thirty years ago, and seeing strangers years later who said “ You’re the one I prayed for!”. I was definitely blessed as are so many people who tell you their stories. Miracles do happen.

  16. Gayle Wilson - March 2, 2023 5:13 pm

    There is still goodness in the world. Thank you Sean for reminding us that there is.

  17. Linda Moon - March 2, 2023 6:37 pm

    I’m glad I’ve met you, Mister Sean of the South. I’ve read lots of your stories via posts and books, too. The world’s not pure $#*%, all because of you and you and lots of other people who are also like you. And I love y’all!

    —-from Me of the South

  18. Linda Moon - March 2, 2023 8:44 pm

    This is a question, not another comment: if we readers want to used email only instead of substack, can we do that? Some of us older pups might have some technical difficulties with the change!

  19. Patricia Gibson - March 2, 2023 9:38 pm

    Sean I am so grateful people share with you so you can share with us❤️🙏

  20. marthajanecassidey9526 - March 2, 2023 10:41 pm

    Your column gives me hope.

  21. Melinda Faison McCall - March 3, 2023 12:26 am


  22. Patricia Schmaltz - March 3, 2023 6:33 pm

    May I have the honor of sending you my book to read. Actually I think it’s more of a Jamie read. I would be very honored, but don’t want to send it without your consent.. and a mailing address. Thank you very much for your time. I LOVE your writing and you inspired me to write more.

  23. Glenda Michaels - March 7, 2023 4:07 pm

    I LOVE your posts!!!! I have a folder where I have saved them since I first came upon your writings. NOW, i am NOT getting anymore posts. Where are you???? Don’t leave me, please.

  24. denise - July 31, 2023 2:06 am

    Love it.


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