If you read the headlines, you might come away with a warped view of the world. Michael Moore is screaming that Trump is going to get us all killed. Trump himself threatens nuclear war with North Korea almost every other day. Bannon takes all the information he gained through his no-holds barred security access and couples it with Mercer monies and then vows to destroy all of Trump’s enemies, which at last count was somewhere around 70 percent of America and all of North Korea, and most of Europe. Bannon’s got his work cut out for him.
No doubt Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer are already in therapy and Kellyanne Conway is rumored to be in rehab.
What a hot mess.
It’s been a week since Heather Heyer woke up, got dressed, and with a fire in her belly and a heart overflowing with compassion headed out the door never to return. Run down by an unemployed Nazi living on his momma’s dole and no doubt the government’s too, as so many of these haters do.
Hasn’t Heather’s momma been amazing? Her daddy,too? It’s easy to see where Heather got her convictions from, ain’t it? These two in the midst of their most awful week have honored their daughter, preaching a message of be ye kind to one another. Wouldn’t Heather be so proud of them?
Speaking of being kind, I have a theory, totally unscientific and subjective and completely unprovable. In other words, the very sort of theory that floats well in today’s culture. Only mine isn’t all that political in nature.
It came to me this week as my sis was relating a story to me about a doctor’s visit she had. As regular readers of the blog know, my sis is is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She is going to be fine. It was caught early but still it’s an ordeal. A series of unfortunate mishaps have made it even more of an ordeal.
Can I just say that unless you’ve been through this you cannot imagine how much time cancer robs from a person? All the phone calls. All the ancillary appointments. All the details. Lord, no wonder they call it chemo brain. Even with one’s iPhone apps reminding them of all the medications they need to take, all the appointments they need to keep, it’s hard to keep track of everything.
One quick trip to the grocery story yesterday went like this: Turn off the car. Can’t find the keyless key. Empty purse. Not there. Search console. Not there. Oh, but there is an extra one in the side panel door. No telling where the other one is at. Lock car. You pick up this list. I will go to pharmacy. As you stand in the aisle debating over antibacterial soaps, the gal on the intercom informs the entire store that the hazard lights in the rig are on. You purchase several different kinds of soap and head to the car. Only you don’t have the keyless key. And she’s still in the pharmacy line. She’s not getting out of that line for anything. So you wait by the car for an entire episode of Madam Secretary, which you didn’t watch but wish you could have. Eventually, she comes to the car. She can’t drive because she almost wrecked twice earlier in the day & neither of us have a death wish. Once we are in the car, we realize we didn’t get half the things on the list because I’d put the list on her phone and it had been dead. So back inside the store for the other items. So much for a quick trip to the store. We had to call and reschedule dinner reservations.
Ahh, life. Isn’t it grand?
But back to that story my sis told me. A couple of weeks ago, she had been to her neck doctor to see how the cancer drugs might affect the severe arthritis she’s been contending with. That doctor, he rolled his chair up next to her and took her hand in his. Then, with such respect, he told my sis that if anyone could handle cancer she could. He told her that if she lost all her hair it wouldn’t make any difference because she was a beautiful woman and her beauty came from the inside, not her hair. He told her that she exudes goodness, which she does.
She told me this story after telling me that one of the fellas at the Coast Guard had approached her at church. He told her that she is beautiful and that she doesn’t need to worry about losing her hair or the cancer because she’s going to be fine and that she is a beautiful woman. She thanked him and told him how kind that was of him to say those things.
And he stopped her. “I’m not telling you this to be kind,” he said. “I’m telling you this as a man. You are a beautiful woman.”
If there is anything a woman needs to hear when she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s that others find her beautiful still.
And it was while we were bleary-eyed from these stories, that it occurred to me that the more unkind our president has been toward women, the more men of real character have stepped it up. It’s almost like the more horrible Trump is, the bolder they become. Men who might feel uncomfortable approaching a woman to praise her are finding their voices. They are speaking out. They are defending. They are making sure to say the things that they might have otherwise just thought.
And women, like Heather Heyer’s momma, who might not have taken center stage for anything, have stepped up to urge people to be kind, to get along, to do the right and good thing. Reminding us that we are all God’s children.
So that’s my theory, totally unprovable and unscientific: The world is becoming kinder. People are looking for ways to affirm one another. People are finding their voices and speaking goodness into one another.
Trump is a daily reminder of the kind of people none of us long to be.
He’s a daily reminder of what happens when you don’t raise your kids up to love all people.
He’s a daily reminder of what happens when you indulge meanness.
A daily reminder of how horrible people can be when their selfish ambitions are pursued at all costs, including human life.
People have stepped back and said, whoa! Wait a minute. That’s not okay. That’s awful. I’m going to try harder to be kinder.
So it’s my conclusion that the world is becoming a kinder place. Good people are rising up.
Lord, how I love when good people rise up, don’t you?
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of CHRISTIAN BEND. Order your copy now from Mercer Univ. Press or wherever good books are sold.