A Search for Hope and the Great Leveler
Let me preface this piece, by saying what everyone already knows, this year has been a doozy! A certifiably horrendous, heartbreaking, stressful, unimaginably painful year for almost everyone. Yes, a few individuals may have come through this experience unscathed. But, truth be told, I wouldn't want to know someone who could honestly say, "2020, yeah, it wasn't so bad!"
Our recent election has only magnified the divide which exists in our country. The political differences which can and have, torn apart friends and family, are not easily mitigated nor mended.
But the search for a balm for these injuries, and a way back to unity, must surely begin with a search for hope and commonality.
This thought was brought home to me by a featured story I saw this morning on CBS Sunday Morning. I rarely miss this journalistic gem, almost always learn something from it, and am often moved, sometimes to tears, sometimes to wisdom (sometimes both), by a story that is told there. This morning, contributor Steve Hartman's "search for hope" was one of those experiences.
Most likely, the last thing on the minds of the Thomas family of Atlanta, Georgia back in February, was what they'd be doing on Halloween. That is because their toddler Zoe, who is now 3 years old, had just been diagnosed with Leukemia.
Cancer, the great leveler. It doesn't care if you're Republican, Democrat, Christian or not, black, white, brown, yellow, straight, gay, rich, poor, young, old or in-between. It doesn't care about your accomplishments or lack thereof. It just appears whenever and wherever it does, with malice, but truthfully, without prejudice.
Just like many other cancer fighters, Zoe's immune system is extremely compromised. And even if there weren't a global pandemic in full swing, there was to be no trick-or-treating for her and her parents decided to lessen everyone's exposure to anything, by making the decision not to hand out candy, either.
But they wanted kids to know why. So they put up a sign in their front yard. This sign.
What followed could not have been predicted. One child after another opened their trick-or-treat bags and left candy at the foot of the sign for a child who couldn't join in the fun, this year.
This inspiring, jaw-dropping, soul-stirring, and yet simple, display of empathy and kindness reminds me that listening to our "better angels" is always the best choice. Always.
And, "a little child shall lead them". (Isaiah 11:6)
See the complete video piece here: