About 20 minutes ago I finished up some grocery shopping (getting the crucial jultid ingredients for Swedish meatballs and gravlax) at the Coborn’s in Jamestown, North Dakota. After loading the pickup box with the staples for the weekend, I got into the cab, looked up and noticed that someone had put something between my windshield wiper and windshield. I got back out, grabbed it and inspected it. Someone, inspired by NBC News and the Twitter hashtag, #26Acts, gave me an act of charity and kindness to honor and remember Anne Marie Murphy, age 52, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, Connecticut. On the front of the small envelope is a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. It reads:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
This is true. There was a candy cane strapped to the envelope, and within was a Farmers Union Oil gas card for $5.00. Wow. That’s what I thought. A little backdrop on Anne Marie Murphy: she died while using herself as a human shield to cover 6-year-old Dylan Hockley (Dylan was also killed). Anne is a saint, and her final act on this planet is being recognized as such (as are many from Sandy Hook Elementary). And an anonymous person in Jamestown, North Dakota wanted to randomly share this 18 of 26 Acts with someone.
The note also says, “Pay it Forward,” so that charges me with sharing this information on the blogs to keep it in the pipeline. I’m inspired. I suppose if we’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the holiday season, it’s okay to pause for a moment, look at the person next to you, and imagine what life would be like without them. Go ahead and hug them. It’s okay to do that. Happy Christmas and merry holidays to all from the northern Great Plains.