In the oppressive shadow of doom and gloom in recent weeks, amid horrific news of mass murder at an elementary school and the gunfire ambush of firefighters, we need to remember and focus on the angels among us — the silent heroes responsible for the good that remains in this often troubled world.
Let us celebrate these humble and wonderful people, and set them up as the examples they should be, to teach the lesson that: you do good things because you should, not because you want the recognition.
Consider the story of Luther Upton, a shy and sensitive man who was moved to help a stranger. His taking an interest in the stranger meant a woman on a fixed income, who struggles to make ends meet, was able to have a Christmas dinner this year — with plenty left over.
Mavis Hamilton, 60, of Rockingham, has medical complications that prevent her from getting around. Rowena Arthurs is her full-time CNA, who looks in on Hamilton from time to time.
The weekend before Christmas, Arthurs came to visit Hamilton and discovered she had a nearly empty refrigerator.
Later, Arthurs went out to dinner with her friend Luther Upton, and told him of Hamilton’s plight.
“We had supper together this weekend and she told me about this lady who had nothing,” said Upton.
Upton tried to ignore the feelings he had about Hamilton, but felt compelled to donate money to her. He went to her house, and met her.
“It’s unreal,” said Upton. “I spend money like crazy and here’s a lady who doesn’t have anything to eat on Christmas. I questioned God why he blessed me when there’s people like this … .”
Upton went to church that Sunday and felt called to speak to the congregation about Hamilton. Upton said the people of Freedom Baptist Church in Rockingham came together and took up a collection for her that came to $295.
He brought Hamilton the money, and let her know that several church members had promised to bring her food.
“You don’t know what went through my heart,” said Hamilton, the day after Christmas. “It’s the angels. I cried a little. I praised God for it … I didn’t call (Freedom Baptist) church, they just came. What makes me feel good is that a little boy at the church gave 75 cents.”
And here’s something else: Mr. Upton came to the newspaper office to share the story of how the church folks came to this woman’s aid, but he didn’t want credit or recognition for his role in the story. And he didn’t want his photograph taken, either — in his mind, the story wasn’t about him. It was about people coming together to help someone they never met, who was in need.
God bless you, Mr. Upton. We need more people like you, and that little boy who gave up 75 cents for a lady he didn’t know.