Cynicism abounds in our world, and it’s not a surprise considering all the divisiveness we see around us. It’s easy to get the impression that Americans are constantly at each other’s throats and the world is “going to hell in a handbasket,” as the old saying goes. But is it really? Are the stories that make the most headlines in the news or social media really indicative of who we are as a people? It’s a complex issue, but there’s a lot more good in the world – and in our neighbors – than we might be aware of.
One of the places you might discover this truth is in The Christophers’ annual “Three Minutes a Day” book of daily reflections. We just published Volume 54, and it can serve as an antidote to modern-day cynicism, a reminder that the ideals of loving God and loving our neighbor are alive and well. Consider this story from the book.
Jamario Howard, JaMychol Baker, and Tae Knight were waiting for their order at Brad’s Bar-B-Que in Oxford, Alabama, when Jamario noticed an elderly woman sitting by herself. He wondered if she might be lonely, so he went over, began chatting with her, and learned her name was Eleanor Baker.
Eleanor told Jamario a little about her life, including that she was a widow and tomorrow would have been her 60th wedding anniversary. The young man knew he couldn’t leave this lady by herself, so he invited her to join him and his friends for dinner. She did, and they had a wonderful evening together. When Jamario posted a picture of them all on Facebook, the story went viral. Eleanor told CBS News that she considers the evening “a God thing. I think God sent me there.”
Jamario added, “I used to say when I was younger, and I still say today, I want to change the world somehow. And I don’t know how. I’m not rich. I’m not famous…But we can show the world it’s alright to be kind. And then, before long, maybe the world will be a much better place.”
As that story shows, God sends us opportunities to share His light with others. We just have to recognize those opportunities and take advantage of them. That’s exactly what Vicki Heath did. Though she had met thousands of passengers during her years as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, there was something special about Tracy Sharp, a 35-year-old woman with Down syndrome who was flying back home to Sacramento with her parents. After engaging the family in conversation, Vicki learned that Tracy’s dream was to work as a flight attendant.
Vicki stayed in touch with the Sharps, and several weeks later called with the offer to have Tracy serve as her assistant on a flight from Sacramento to Seattle. Tracy was thrilled! Her parents joined her on the trip and relished watching their daughter interact with passengers and hand out food and drinks. As reported by Woman’s World magazine, “At the end of the flight, all the passengers applauded their wonderful flight attendant, and Tracy boasted a 100-watt smile.”
Vicki concluded, “I will never know why God chose me to befriend Tracy, but He did. I’ve learned it doesn’t take much to make somebody happy…and it brings you amazing joy, too!”
If you need more hope and faith in your life, you can order “Three Minutes a Day” for $10 by visiting this page.