Helpers

All day today what is left of Hurricane Ida plowed its way through Kentucky.

The only cost to me: wet tennis shoes and a little water in my basement.

But I’ve been thinking about all the thousands of people who haven’t had it so easy.

Right now we are covered up, all of us, in bad news. 

Afghanistan. COVID. Hurricanes. 

And that’s just the big three.

But you know what? Right in the middle of all that bad, there is infinite good.

I’m not crazy. It’s true.

We don’t ever hear about it. It’s so small, it never makes any news, not a single blue word way back on the twentieth Google search page. It sure won’t make your Facebook feed.

You know why?

Because it’s the good that happens between two people. Maybe just a handful more. Usually when nobody is watching.

It’s the good that almost always happens, every single time something big and bad occurs.

Because when the bad stuff is going on, somebody, somewhere, reaches out a hand.

Four years ago I was lucky enough to see this for myself when I worked on a documentary about Hurricane Harvey. 

Right in the middle of the rubble this is what we found: commitment, resilience, hope.

That exact same resilience is kicking in tonight, way down south from where I sit in my air-conditioned house with a watertight roof and a dry bed.

Those same helpers are already there, or they’re heading down I-65, even as I type this.

In Afghanistan tiny miracles of human connection have been happening, even in the rubble, even as bombs exploded and cities fell.

Hands touched. Hearts were moved.

In hospitals all across this country, saintly service is being provided. Women and men who are so tired they can barely stand, are standing still. Holding a hand. Placing a tube. Calling a family.

It’s there. The good. 

Even when it rains. Even when countries crumble. Even as people fight death.

It’s there. 

I’m not discounting the pain. The indescribable loss. The hurt that will never leave.

Most of us can’t go to Afghanistan, or Louisiana, or even walk the halls at our local hospital.

But we can get up and go out our front door. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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