A busy lunch joint. Seated beside me is a man reading a newspaper. I glance at a sobering headline that reads: “Pandemic Rages On—Again.” The man with the paper sighs, and folds it closed.
Meanwhile, the television above the bar rolls shocking footage of a shooting. This is followed by reporters talking about more bad stuff. Then come pharmaceutical commercials by the dozen. Followed by legal commercials on how to sue the pants off pharmaceutical companies.
The waitress looks at the TV and says, “Lordy mighty, they never tell you anything good anymore, do they?”
She flips the channel. The TV shows a riot. She flips again. A televangelist in a silk suit is weeping. Flip, flip, flip. On the screen are two newsmen shouting at each other with spittle flying. She flips again. The news announcer says: “And now for more COVID updates…”
Mercifully, she turns the television off.
A man at the bar says, “Thank you.”
Another man raises a coffee mug. “Amen.”
The mood improves considerably. Pretty soon the waitress is playing music overhead. It’s George Strait, singing about Amarillo. And color is being restored to the world. Thank you, George.
The waitress warms up my coffee and I’m feeling a lot better now.
It’s been a hard few weeks for my family. And certainly, I know the universe is full of cruddy current events—as seen on TV. But isn’t there anything good happening out there?
The answer is yes. And as it happens, I have one such item of good news to share. A few months ago, I met a man who told me about angels.
“Angels?” I asked skeptically.
“Yes, angels,” he said.
The man was white-haired. He looked like your favorite granddaddy. He spoke with a thick Georgia accent and wore enough plaid to cover a Plymouth.
“I was driving home late,” he began. “Crashed into a log truck.”
His wife held one of his arms while he leaned onto a cane. The man showed me photos of the accident. It was horrific.
He touched the scar on his neck. “The logs hit me right here. Had surgery, they cut me open and replaced C-seven with a cadaver bone and titanium. I shouldn’t be walking right now. It’s a miracle I wasn’t decapitated.”
His wife elbowed him, “But tell him about the angel.”
“Oh yeah, the angel.”
“Tell him about how he saved you.”
“Right, well, I was…”
“Go on, tell him, George.”
“Dadgumit, I will if you let me.”
A stranger came out of nowhere and dragged the old man from the wreckage. The stranger instructed him not to move his head, then the stranger used both hands to hold the man’s neck completely motionless for forty minutes until paramedics came. This angel saved his life, then vanished.
The accident wounded a lot more than the old man’s body. A mind is never really the same after trauma.
“They said I had PTSD,” he went on. “I couldn’t get behind the wheel of my car, I was terrified.”
His wife elbowed again. “Tell him about the road trip.”
“Right. Well, I was…”
“Tell him about the trip across the United States.”
He looked at her.
After he healed, they took the trip of a lifetime. He forced himself to crawl into the driver’s seat. It took a while to get the courage, but he did it. He and his wife spent twenty-four days driving U.S. highways and seeing North America at eye level.
They had so much fun, they turned around and did the whole trip a second time.
“But that’s not the best part,” says his wife, elbowing his ribs. “Tell, him, George.”
Years later, one night they were in a catfish joint when he heard a voice coming from another booth. He recognized this voice. Then he started getting chills.
The old man approached the guy with the voice and asked, “Excuse me, sir, your voice sounds familiar.”
The guy recognized him. The guy stood and said, “My God, you look a lot different than when I found you in that car.”
They hugged. The old man’s eyes immediately became wet when he retold this story to me many years later.
“It was the angel,” his wife said.
“Yeah,” the old man said. “An angel. A real one. Who also happened to be an EMT.”
If you want to be scared to death, all you have to do is pick up a remote control. A news anchor will gladly tell you about how the universe is falling apart and how your drinking water will kill you.
I’m not saying those things aren’t true. Believe me, I’m not here to throw stones at journalists. Shoot rubber bands at them? Maybe. But I draw the line at stones.
Still, if you ask me, there is a lot more in the world than what’s on your screen. There are miracles everywhere, every day, they just don’t sell many newspapers.
When the waitress asks if I am ready to pay my bill, I tell her yes. Then I thank her for the George Strait. And above all, for turning off the tube.
“No problem,” she says. “I can’t watch much TV anymore, brings me down. I got enough junk to deal with these days.”
Lordy mighty. Me too.
Norma Den - August 8, 2021 6:33 am
Sean you too are one of the angels who give us hope and a daily treat as we read your column. Angels are all around us, in the form of friends and strangers. The news channels are just too depressing for words. Enough heartache and sorrow in our world anyway. God has given us a beautiful world, look around, see the beauty and rejoice. As the immortal Louis Armstrong sang, It’s A Wonderful World. God bless you, Jaime and Mother Mary.
Barbara Yeida Zuleski - August 8, 2021 7:47 am
His Bless you all, three years ago, we were where you are now with my dear mama transitioning Heavenward. It is a hard road for everyone, thank you for sharing this journey of love snd faith.
Leigh Amiot - August 8, 2021 9:16 am
What passes for news these days is mostly designed to pit us against one another. Turning it off, closing the web page—agreed, those are good things to contribute to one’s peace. My morning routine consists of feeding a couple of feral cats who drop by semi-regularly, starting the washer and dryer, and like so many here, having coffee while reading Sean, reading the Word. I read Billy Graham’s “Angels, God’s Secret Agents” when I was a kid in the early ‘70s. Your column today has inspired me to pull it off the shelf. Thank you for sharing good news about a real life angel with us today! Undoubtedly some are hovering close to Mother Mary, human and otherwise.
Mike - August 8, 2021 10:39 am
James Payne - August 8, 2021 10:57 am
Saw you on an Alfa insurance commercial . Great job
Joan Moore - August 8, 2021 11:10 am
And as I drink my coffee, I am reading this almost angelic column, may make Amarillo by morning…
Sonya Tuttle - August 8, 2021 11:30 am
I quit watching tv long ago. Reading FB keeps me filled in on the current events and I can scroll past the commercials. The Olympics are good, happy to see reality, and humans doing their best. I believe in Angels…”Alabama” has that beautiful song!!!’
Suzi - August 8, 2021 11:35 am
Thank you for reminding us of the good❤️
Te - August 8, 2021 11:46 am
I got so tired of the fake news, I had all those channels removed. Now I have just movies, infomercials, Hallmark, Grays Anatomy and HGTV, which I love. At least they’re building something, and nobody is wearing a face diaper! There’s even a channel with breaking surf and an island cove with palm trees. Don’t watch much tv.got off FB. Life is a lot more mellow now.
Karen Snyder - August 8, 2021 11:50 am
Everyone could tell a personal angel story if they would simply acknowledge the possibility, then tune out the rabble and truly pay attention. Your writings help us do that. May the angels continue their loving support for Mother Mary, Jamie, and you.
Thad - August 8, 2021 12:00 pm
Sean, your columns remind me of my boyhood visitinfymy grandparents in Graceville. My mama’s maiden name was Margaret Alice Grace. My great great grandfather founded Graceville because he found good water. Everyone was either Jin or kin to someone kin to you.
Been there when mama went peacefully with Hesus. It was so graceful!
Marilyn - August 8, 2021 12:23 pm
Not watching news over two years ago was a smart choice on my part. I can pick and choose what I read about on the computer, and it isn’t “in my face”. Thank you for all your uplifting stories.
Prayers of peace and comfort to you and Jamie as MM transitions. God. Is. Good. May the angels lead her into paradise…
Anita Smith - August 8, 2021 12:41 pm
Love this, there are angels among us 💓
Janice Carlile - August 8, 2021 12:56 pm
Beautiful story. But how is Mother Mary?
Bernadette Wyckoff - August 8, 2021 1:47 pm
I need an angel today. My job hours cut from 33 to 12. Loyalty…never missed a day or late..worked hard and desperately needed the income. Maybe I can be angel to someone….thanks Sean I think you are my angel.
Karen Holderman - August 8, 2021 11:16 pm
Bernadette, I pray that your job situation improves. I bet you have already been an angel to someone.
Karla - August 8, 2021 11:44 pm
Bernadette: Let’s pray for job situation that rewards your loyalty. The good news is truly the miracles
Kate - August 8, 2021 1:53 pm
Thank you Sean, I read you because it helps me sill feel connected and uplifts my spirit. I quit watching TV about 3 years ago, unless it is an old movie or at least one that isn’t full of violence or profanity, or the SEC channel or college football. We live a wonderful life, because we are thankful for all the small things that we should not take for granted. We are not rich, influencers, etc, 🤣 but we sure have had a great life, full of ups and downs, and challenges, and sadness, but so, so many good things and blessings. And you are one of those special blessings, thank you.
Keloth Anne - August 8, 2021 1:59 pm
And thank you, Sean Dietrich, for ALWAYS finding goodness in such a troubled world …
And you share it with all of us💕💕
Lots of love and prayers 🙏♥️🙏
Michele Tiller - August 8, 2021 2:20 pm
Thanks, Sean. You always seem to have the “right” words, “spoken” at the “right” time, to “re-set” my head straight.
Melissa Hoehn - August 8, 2021 2:21 pm
Christina - August 8, 2021 2:27 pm
I’m going to pay attention to the Angels at work more!
steveleachman - August 8, 2021 3:43 pm
Yes there is much that is good but you’re right ‘Good news doesn’t sell newspapers or cable news ads.’ I don’t watch or read much MSM anymore. When you find out they make most of it up as they go along what’s the point. I really enjoy your daily emails. They make the start of the day so much better. Thanks.
CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 8, 2021 4:01 pm
Bettye Bradshaw - August 8, 2021 4:17 pm
God Bless you and Mother Mary!!! I believe in Angels!!
Patricia Gibson - August 8, 2021 4:40 pm
So very true and I am grateful to you, Sean for sharing the good stuff!❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏
Linda Moon - August 8, 2021 4:52 pm
Good. Thank God for the good in you, Sean Dietrich. I could be really glib here and try to thank you for the ‘rich diet’ of your daily words. But I won’t. So, sincerely, I thank you. Reading all these two million or so words from you is sometimes the only good I find out there. Now, what can I do to lift YOU up?
MAM - August 8, 2021 5:33 pm
Linda Moon asks a great question! What can I and we do to lift YOU up? You give us daily doses of reality and spirituality intertwined. Thank you, Sean, for your everyday writing that restores our faith in God and humanity.
Dee Jordan - August 8, 2021 6:34 pm
What an uplifting story from the cesspool of current events. Thank you!!!
Diane - August 8, 2021 6:35 pm
Christopher Spencer - August 8, 2021 8:54 pm
Sean, you live with two such angels. Mother Mary and your sweet wife Jaime. They both have taken care of you for many years and helped you to become the successful writer that you are today. And in the process they taught you how to be an angel yourself, with your words that daily help thousands of people.
I thank God for each of you and I love you all.
Melanie - August 8, 2021 10:39 pm
Remember the bumper sticker from decades back? “Shoot your television” 😉. hang in there Sean and Jamie ♥️
Cathy - August 8, 2021 11:09 pm
The group Alabama sang a wonderful song. There are angels among us. I believe it and have experienced an angelic presence two times in my life. Yes, I believe in angels with all my heart❤️🙏🏻😇
Jo - August 9, 2021 1:53 am
Lovely story….truly there are angles. Years ago during a terrible storm, my husband and I together with our 2 little children huddled on the living room couch praying for safely as our mobile home rocked and groaned. Suddenly there was an outline of an angel in the room, all was calm, even tho the storm outdoors raged. Keep up the positive stories, Sean. We’re not made to carry all the negativity. We avoid it for all we’re worth in our home.
Cindy Foster - August 9, 2021 2:37 pm
🎶There is peace in Jesus in a troubled world today🎶!
Bill Harris - August 11, 2021 1:54 pm
Thank you Sean