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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

Stories of Goodness Make Us Better

One of the primary ways that Jesus taught His disciples and others is through parables, through stories. It’s an approach that The Christophers follow in a lot of our work, especially our annual “Three Minutes a Day” book, which features stories and reflections for each day of the year. Volume 51 is available for pre-order, and we should be receiving copies from the printer any day now.

So, what’s so special about “Three Minutes a Day?” Well, good news can be hard to find nowadays. Our newspapers, TV screens, and computer screens are filled with images of war, violence and hatred. It’s easy to forget the divine goodness that exists in every human heart, so many of our featured stories serve as a necessary reminder. Consider this entry:

As a 911 operator in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Marilyn Hinson was used to getting all kinds of pleas for help. But her call from 81-year-old prostate cancer survivor Clarence Blackmon was different than most.

As reported by Beth Dreher in Reader’s Digest, Blackmon, a widower, returned home to an empty refrigerator and pantry after months in the hospital. Unable to get out of the house himself—and with no one in the area to go shopping for him—he dialed 911 and asked if someone could bring him food because he couldn’t get out of his chair.

With approval from her supervisor, Hinson bought Blackmon several bags of groceries and made him a few sandwiches that afternoon. She told a local TV station, “I’ve been hungry. A lot of people can’t say that, but I can, and I can’t stand for anyone to be hungry.”

Blackmon lives in hospice care now, but Hinson still visits him “a few times a week to chat, fill his candy dish, and collect his laundry.” He says, “Thank God for people [like Marilyn.]”

Kindness like that often goes unnoticed, but we believe there are many more people around the country who go out of their way for someone in need, and become living examples of Jesus’s call to “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

There’s also another wonderful story that is especially relevant to this age when we often focus more on what divides us than unites us: In 1996, the KKK held a rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that also drew many protesters who didn’t want the racist organization in their community. At one point, a white supremacist with an SS emblem found himself amidst the protesters, and a small group of them chased him, knocked him to the ground, and kicked him, while shouting, “Kill the Nazi!”

That’s when African-American high school student Keshia Thomas got involved. She threw herself on top of the man to protect him from being hit anymore. Then she told the crowd, “[You] can’t beat goodness into a person.” When asked her motivation, Thomas said, “I knew what it was like to be hurt. I wish someone would have stood up for me...Nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”

Thomas never received thanks from the man she helped but, months later, his son approached her to express gratitude for what she had done. She hoped that maybe her act of kindness would end the cycle of hatred and violence in that family.

“Three Minutes a Day” includes more stories like that, as well as prayers and spiritual wisdom to move you closer to God. It’s available for purchase by calling 1-888-298-4050 or visiting www.christophers.org.