“Let us not become weary in doing good . . .” – Galatians 6:9
What had started out as a delightful morning suddenly came to a screeching halt, followed by several hours in the emergency room and eighteen painful stitches in her upper lip. It happened several years ago when my wife Tee went out for her early morning jog. Being both a nature lover and a fitness buff, she was loving the moment; that is, until she crossed a wooden footbridge that, unknown to her, had become slick from an early morning dew causing her to slip. As accidents often do, it happened so fast that she had no time to catch herself as she landed face down on the asphalt, her upper lip receiving the brunt of the damage. There she lay alone – traumatized, bleeding, and a mile-and-a-half from home – when out of nowhere appeared a stranger who came to her aid. The lady helped her get back on her feet, tended to her wounds as best she could, then assisted her in getting safely back home.
Funny thing is we are on that trail several times a week and have become acquainted with most of the regular walkers and joggers, many by name. But this was someone we had never seen before. And being traumatized as she was Tee could not remember the name of her Good Samaritan nor how to get in touch to express her gratitude. “Maybe I’ll see her again on the trail,” she had hoped, but that has yet to happen.
As with most good people, that lady did not do a good deed in order to receive recognition. She did it quietly, anonymously, and selflessly because she is a caring and compassionate person, a good human being who has love and respect for her neighbors.
Having read Man’s Search for Meaning several times, Dr. Viktor Frankl’s reflections on his experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, what most inspires me is how the prisoners, under the most horrendous of inhumane circumstances, cared for one another in the face of hopelessness and death. And even as thousands of such stories have been told and recorded by survivors, I suspect they are but a fraction of those that remain anonymous or buried with its victims. “Let us not become weary in doing good,” the Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, “for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” While selfishness, greed, and evil may exist all around, it is those selfless souls quietly doing good, they keep humanity knit together.