Today, I was rendered speechless by an overwhelming act of generosity and goodwill. I had nothing to say. I cried after I left the woman’s house. Which is unusual for me. Sometimes, when a friendly hand welcomes you into the shade after you’ve walked in the hot sun for a long time, it’s too much. Sometimes, it’s only when the shade comes that you realize how tired you are.

People talk about this stuff all the time, about how God’s not here, so we have to help each other. And it’s always cheesy and ridiculous. Until it happens to you. And in that moment, when you feel someone’s hand on your shoulder and know that it’s not really their hand, because how could it be? They don’t even know you… in that moment, you find the strength to keep walking a little bit longer. Just a little further. You start to feel like maybe you can make it after all.

People believe in different hands. Encompassing earth-mother hands, connected life-force hands, fatherly hand-of-God hands, hands of departed loved ones and companions. Some people believe in no hands, but I think, in their hearts, even those people want to believe. Even Hollywood believes in the hand. The mysterious stranger who gives the hero the key piece of knowledge right before she gives up. The series of improbable coincidences that leads the two main characters together, that helps the mother find her long-lost child, that pushes (sometimes pulls) humanity onward through the darkness.

I hope that someday I can help somebody else feel as comforted as I felt today. I hope I can welcome someone into my house and say, “Come in, weary stranger. Come in and rest.”

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