Toward a new humanity

Sometimes we're stopped—perhaps for just moments at a time—and we find ourselves looking and listening with unexpected sensitivity to what people are doing and saying. Vignettes of ordinary people begin to take on the color and intensity of scenes that deserve to be captured in memory. Take, for example, a scene and some words overheard while I was waiting for my car at a neighborhood service station.

"Jennie, you do something good for people and they come back. They trust you. If you fix something and it breaks in a few days, you don't charge them again, you just fix it." There was kindness, experience, compassion, in the voice, not calculating strategy. The owner of the service station was talking to a high schooler who earlier had been wondering out loud what she was going to do with her life. As I listened, I felt the goodness in the man that drew out a teen-ager's trust.

I think of another scene that goes back nearly thirty years. A neighbor had two sons and drank a lot. We didn't label him, but I suppose today he'd be called an alcoholic. His life seemed awfully hard, but it was obvious he loved his boys. Then a change began to take place, almost imperceptibly at first. His boys were going through hard times. We could see that he had finally become so sensitive to their needs that he had to do something to give them a dad they could look up to. He quit drinking.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Signs follow believers
May 18, 1987

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.