I live in the Metropolitan Chicago area, and it's easy to forget how life in rural and small-town America can differ. I grew up in rural America. Once my parents left the farm in their later years, they moved to a small town, where my brother lives to this day.
Just recently I've been reminded of the ways in which people in small towns look out for each other and take care of each other. My brother has needed some medical attention; and since my sister and I both live hours away from him, neighbors and members of his congregation have been tending to his needs. My sister and I pondered ways to repay these kind people when one of them told her, "No repayment needed. This is what we do in small towns."
Of course, it is. And sometimes we see such care and kindness in large cities, too—from people other than our close friends and family. But we don't really expect it there. We're more often just another face in the crowd.
My sister and I both are profoundly grateful to those who have stepped forward and gone out of their way to be family for our brother when we could not. And I must say, the experience restores my faith in humanity. So much of what we see and hear in our country in recent months is anger, hatred, acrimony and conflict. But what we've experienced in the past week or two in our family is just the opposite. Love and kindness still abound in this world. That's something to celebrate!
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