Good People

November 03, 2016 | Loren Dickinson

It’s a sense that had been creeping up on me for a year or more. But I’d never given it tongue. And then, a few months ago, like a bubble ready to burst, it blew onto my mental screen that caused me to see some things more clearly.

The sense: So many good people engage in so many good works that do so much good — often unknown to the rest of us.

An example or two:

A small collection of people some months ago donated funds — miniscule and more — to a worthy student fund. Once funds were raised and matched by our university, checks went out just before finals to 40 unusually deserving students, some of them single parents.

They had no clue their checks were coming. One student wrote, “I received your letter and check and was very touched by it all. Please give my thanks to people who were so generous. In this I saw God’s love … .”

Good people engaged in good works that do so much good.

People have put their wallets where their mouths are, providing dozens of household items and hundreds in cash to a family of seven who, until then, lived mostly among bare walls. Today, it’s light-years different. Now there’s a bed for each. Now dishes from which to have a meal. Now a washer and a dryer that negate heavy trips to a distant laundromat. Now there are toys for ecstatic kids ages 3 to 9.

Good people engaged in good works that do so much good.

I sat in church one morning, gawking here and there, as my habit is want to be. Wally, a quiet, lone and self-possessed college junior, sat within eye shot as the offering plate was appearing. He removed a dollar bill from his wallet in what looked like an attempt not to be noticed, then submitted the cash as the deacon approached.

Me, I give tithe, I pay church expenses, I pop in a quarter for Sabbath School offering. Why would I give more?

Wally reminded me that day what good people do. They engage in good works that do so much good. They are often the quiet ones. And they give to the notice of no one, which makes their gifts all the more wholesome.

My stint at the hospital last year was a journey with good people. Numbers of people called. Some stopped by to say something. Others came to play tunes. Cards rolled in, and the food supply barely let up.

Good people engaged in good works that do so much good. The world does not suffer from too much goodness.

We might as well keep it up.