Seven Days

One week. Seven days. Boy oh boy. A lot can happen in seven days.

In less than one week there have been two mass shootings. Yesterday a 21-year-old man killed 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, at a supermarket. Five days earlier, a 21-year-old man in Atlanta killed 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women.

Seven days.

Modern times have gotten so frightening that I’m afraid to read the news. What horrors am I going to read about seven days from now?

Sometimes I worry about this world. I worry about where it’s going. I worry it’s falling apart because that’s what everyone keeps saying. They all say the universe is coming apart. Mankind is turning inward on himself. It’s enough to make you break out into shingles.

Which is why I am writing this to you. Because although this planet sometimes seems screwed up, I want you to know about a few other things that happened within the last seven days.

Take Mike. Mike is a 63-year-old man who grew up working various labor jobs. He has always been a blue-collar man with dirt under his fingernails.

His life reads like a tragedy in some places. Although, had his story ever been made into a literal book, Mike wouldn’t have been able to read it. Because Mike couldn’t read.

When Mike was around age 10, his father died. Mike quit school to work in his uncle’s restaurant. He had never been a strong reader to begin with. Eventually he forgot grammar-school stuff altogether.

The technological world advanced without him. In his 63 years, Mike had never owned a computer, never owned a smartphone, never sent an email, never penned a letter, never read his own junk mail. Reading-wise, Mike could do little more than sign his name and read everyday words.

But last year, Mike began taking reading lessons with a private tutor. And last Monday (less than seven days ago) Mike had three major benchmarks occur in his life. All on the same day.

Mike (1) finished reading his first 800-page novel, (2) bought his first smartphone, and (3) typed his first email to his daughter with his thumbs.

Something else that also happened last week? A dog named Silas finally made it home. I’ll explain.

Silas had been missing for two days. And if you think two days doesn’t sound like a long time for a dog to go missing, you’re not a dog owner.

Silas ran off one evening for no explainable reason. Terry, his owner, canvassed her neighborhood but found nothing. Her hopes were shattered when her neighbor called to report a dog that looked like Silas lying in the highway.

But days later, someone phoned Terry from the next county. A guy named Stew found Silas on his back porch, eating bird food. Stew had taken the stray to the vet where the dog’s microchip was scanned. It was Silas.

By the time Terry arrived, the people at the vet’s office had given Silas a bath with fancy perfumed shampoo—no charge.

Terry is a widow. Silas is what she refers to as, “The only friend I have left.”

Chances are you’ll never read a news story about Silas. Neither will you read about how Janell was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune illness a few years ago and was told she was dying.

Janell’s disease was supposed to kill her quickly. And it certainly looked that way. Her doctors were not optimistic; doctors told her to get her affairs in order.

So Janell did what dying people do. She started doling out heirloom furniture to her children, writing letters to be read upon her death, dividing her finances.

Meanwhile, her adult kids did something, too. Namely, they started praying.

Now, before you quit reading because you think I’m getting all hooky-spooky spiritual, you should know Janell’s adult children have never stepped foot in a church building. In fact, they have never attended any event more spiritual than a WWE professional wrestling match.

“Our mother didn’t raise us in church,” one of her children said. “My mother just wasn’t spiritual. Actually, I used to think Mom was an atheist.”

But herein lies the beauty of this story. The woman’s children had no idea how to pray, but they gave it a shot anyway.

Janell’s daughter, Anna, says she spent entire weeks sitting silently in her spare bedroom.

“I kinda sat there, like people do in yoga,” she told me over the phone. “I asked Whatever-Is-Up-There to please help me. I begged and begged, ‘Help my mom, please, whatever you are.’”

The thing is, Janell’s children’s requests must have worked. Doctors still have no explanation for her recovery, which was made official this week. Doctors don’t understand what happened, or how she started gaining weight. They don’t know why her tests suddenly showed up negative. None of it makes logical sense.

But then that’s the best part about life itself. Things don’t make sense. They aren’t supposed to. I wish I could explain to you exactly what I mean by those words, but my explanation wouldn’t make any sense, either.

All I can say is that when people tell you the world is bursting apart; when life seems like a morbid riddle with no solution; when you find that you cannot read the news without shedding peach-sized tears, do not give up. Not yet.

Because a lot can happen in seven days.


  1. Adele - March 24, 2021 6:29 am

    Thank heavens you wrote this, Sean. Because like you, we no longer enjoy the news. In my journalism days, decades ago, I wrote about a 90yr old woman who still drove her late father’s Model T Ford on her volunteer rounds of visiting housebound elderly people! That was considered news back then to balance out the hard news.

  2. Susan - March 24, 2021 8:34 am

    Sean, I sure needed these hopeful words.

  3. Perri Williamson - March 24, 2021 8:39 am

    Thank you.

  4. Amy - March 24, 2021 10:13 am

    Thank you for such encouraging stories this morning.

  5. Theresa Meyer - March 24, 2021 10:33 am

    Thank you for sharing your gift of story telling. The news can make the world seem like such a scary, negative place. Your writings illustrate there are small miracles and pieces of joy all around us – – we just need to take the time to look for them or to be patient for them to come our way. Your daily messages are what many of us need right now.

  6. Liz - March 24, 2021 10:57 am

    Perfectly timed, I needed this as well.

  7. Diana - March 24, 2021 11:18 am

    Thank you. Your column is a lifeline.

  8. Mark Fendley - March 24, 2021 12:16 pm

    God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good.

  9. Bar - March 24, 2021 12:18 pm


  10. Lynn Evers - March 24, 2021 12:26 pm

    As we get ready to celebrate Easter, ponder what happened in only three days.

    • Marsha - March 24, 2021 1:38 pm


  11. Jo Ann - March 24, 2021 12:30 pm

    Thank you, Sean. You shine a light on the good things around us. It seems like the news media delights in the dark. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you & your readers.

  12. Marnie - March 24, 2021 12:39 pm

    Thank you! I just discovered your column recently. It’s now part of my morning routine. First is sending Bible verses to my sister, facing surgery for breast cancer, and my daughter – a single mom, teacher and all around great person whose husband gambled away everything she earned and saved over 10 years of marriage, behind her back. She learned of his problem only because he stole her identity and opened credit cards in her name. She’s just learned that he failed to make a mortgage payment on the home he sold last year and it’s damaged her credit. She learned this just as she was applying for a mortgage on a small place of her own so she and her 2 kids can stay in their school district.
    Your column brings me a sense of peace, of hope. It takes so little to shake mine these days. I’ve become fragile and anxious instead of my previous strong and calm. So again, I say thank you for each column! Well done, my new-found friend.

  13. Melanie - March 24, 2021 12:39 pm

    Don’t watch the news. Don’t read the paper. Nope. And far better off for it. Thank you for the good news Sean and I am just tickled for the two people in your story ❤️❤️

  14. Peggy Thompson - March 24, 2021 12:52 pm

    Thank you, we needed this during the scary things happening in our oountry along with covid.
    God is good & he always with us.🙏♥️

  15. Teka Pierce - March 24, 2021 12:56 pm

    Thank you. I needed that. Nuf said….

  16. Leigh Amiot - March 24, 2021 1:12 pm

    I, too, believe in miracles.
    And well done, Mike!

  17. Deborah Johnson Jones - March 24, 2021 1:14 pm

    …. and, the world was created in only 6 days. Thank you, Sean, for this reminder that there is always hope and that God’s timing is perfect.

  18. Catherine - March 24, 2021 1:22 pm

    Hope springs eternal…thank you for that reminder in what can be very dark moments in time. 💓

  19. Richard Owen - March 24, 2021 1:26 pm

    I hate to be a downer but the start of this piece upset (wanted to say something else but decided against it) me. You mention that six of those killed in Atlanta were Asian but not a word about the other two or the race of the TEN killed in Colorado. Even here I have listened to what I would call racist statements. They were of Asian descent but they were AMERICANS. One of those killed, if my info is correct, was a hispanic woman. No mention of her. AMERICANS need to get away from the BS of “I am a WHATEVER-American.” You are either an American or not. My ancestry goes back to the country of Wales but you will never hear me say I am a Welsh-American because that is STUPID. You might remember my name in the Walton Sun back between 1998 and 2008 when I was the lone photographer (and eventually did the sports writing as well). I am sick to death of reading things that portend about the myths of “systemic racism” or “white privilege”. I am the only child in my family that does NOT have a college degree but I earned my way in life by working hard and achieving the goals that I set for myself. Please stay away from making statements that portend to racism. BUT then again, I guess is most people’s eyes ALL whites are racists even those that are WOKE!

  20. peggyhayesauthor - March 24, 2021 1:56 pm

    Thank you for your seeds of hope!

  21. Julie - March 24, 2021 2:17 pm

    “And after six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-2)”. Yes, indeed, a lot can happen in seven days. Thank you, Sean, for your stories that give us hope, and encourage us to “not give up.”

  22. Cecelia Arnold - March 24, 2021 2:32 pm

    Thank you for reminding us, Sean. We need to be reminded.

  23. Lucinda Gentry - March 24, 2021 3:05 pm

    Thank you Sean😊

  24. Al Cato - March 24, 2021 3:24 pm

    You are that light in the darkness because you share with us the good news that’s all around us! The alphabet media would much rather have tragic and devastating events to report on ad nauseum. You are our “Good News Channel”. Thank you.

  25. Beryl - March 24, 2021 3:26 pm

    STOP WATCHING THE “NEWS”! Look up! Take in all the beauty around you. Have you heard any negative, heart wrenching proclamations from Nature? No? That’s because Nature’s take on humanity is, “I don’t know why you spend so much time in a downward gaze. Look up! I made EVERYTHING for you! I’m beautiful! Enjoy my beauty and by doing so you will improve your OUTLOOK on life.” And so it is.

  26. Jan - March 24, 2021 3:27 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for sharing positive and hopeful stories in this very negative world we live in!

  27. Bex - March 24, 2021 3:32 pm

    Sean, thank you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
    You write about good people and good things that we never hear or read in the ‘news’! You give us hope for mankind! God bless!

  28. Chasity Davis Ritter - March 24, 2021 3:52 pm

    I pray that more people know about the miracle that happened in just 3 days but yes so very very much can happen in 7 days too. The news does focus on the bad things and get us all in the whoa is me mind set. I love reading your blogs when you share the good things. The very best things. The things that make a difference and matter. A lot can happen in 5-6 minutes it takes me to read through your blog. My whole outlook and attitude can change…. thank you, Sean!

  29. Melanie Denmon - March 24, 2021 4:00 pm

    I always love what you write. You touch my heart every time. Thank you. Melanie Denmon, Shreveport Louisiana

  30. Beth - March 24, 2021 4:55 pm

    “7” Gods perfect number!!🙌🏻✝️💜

  31. Linda Moon - March 24, 2021 5:26 pm

    Creation happened in seven days. Sadly, destruction did, too. And then….there’s the rest of the stories you wrote to us, Thank God. Thank YOU for passing them on to us readers. You always make sense to me, Writer.

  32. Kathy Spruiell - March 24, 2021 6:03 pm

    Thank you!

  33. Bill - March 24, 2021 7:28 pm

    A ton of things don’t male sense. But, don’t tell that to my wife. She is very logical and gets crazy when things don’t make sense, ie. to her. She goes off when something doesn’t add up. I, on the other hand, can handle some illogic. I know that’s not logical, but things happen for a reason and sometimes we are not to know that reason. Just the way life is..

  34. MAM - March 24, 2021 8:16 pm

    Thank you, Sean, as everyone else has said. But everyone who has turned away from God or never knew Him, must begin praying in whatever way they can for someone special and/or for healing in our nation. I agree with Adele, who said good news used to balance bad news. We need that back. And Bill is correct that some things don’t made sense. But he’s also right that everything happens for a reason. God knows the reason. We must put our trust in Him.

  35. Ann - March 24, 2021 11:09 pm

    Sean, thank you, I REALLY needed this!!
    You made me think about a few things in the past week, that weren’t sky is falling news….my grandson started a new post college big boy job, my brother in law and sister in law came to visit ( we haven’t seen them in two years…or any family for over a year…my husband had a birthday…a friend had his last radiation treatment…another friend has her son visiting in more than a year..our church is open for worship….the sun came out and you made me feel much better !

  36. Cheryl Buchanan - March 25, 2021 12:42 am

    Another “AMEN!”

  37. Christina - March 25, 2021 6:33 am

    I wish there is a “Daily good news with Sean” show!

  38. susanrenniandersongmailcom - March 25, 2021 11:42 am

    Sean, I look forward to our blog every morning. It’s the first email I open even before my eyes are all the way open. You and I are sharing my cup of coffee. As an author, I admire your words. Susie

  39. Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder - March 25, 2021 2:46 pm

    Dearest Sean,
    IF only more of those positive, encouraging stories would be told!
    Praying does help, we’ve lived through it around January 9, when my husband himself thought, this is IT, my heart is finally giving in… We prayed a lot and slowly he regained weight and strength. No it was not Covid; we both tested positive.

  40. Helen Trammell - March 26, 2021 6:58 pm

    Such loss & sorrow. I’m asking Anna & family to cover healing prayers over Scarlett Tran-Castanares, my 3 year young grandniece, just diagnosed with osteosarcoma, now at St Judes. Trusting in healing.


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