A gentleman and I crossed paths this week.
He’s 82 years old. He lives in Fritch. At least he lived in Fritch until a few days ago, when fire destroyed his home near (what’s left of) Lake Meredith.
I didn’t get his name. We talked for some time at the car dealership where I work part time. He and his wife have moved for the time being to their daughter’s home in Amarillo.
He doesn’t yet know what he’s going to do, whether to rebuild at the site of his now-burned-out home or move somewhere else permanently. He said the fire took everything, except his motor vehicles.
This gentleman appears to be a man of great faith. As we spoke, he kept talking about how Scripture has helped guide him through the heartache, how God doesn’t give his children more than they can handle. This fine gentleman is quite sure he’ll get through his crisis.
He talked some more about the incredible strength that the victims of the wildfire have exhibited.
This fellow also talked about the equally incredible random acts of kindness others are showing daily to help these victims.
My acquaintance held up pretty well as we spoke. He didn’t get emotional until he told me of someone who handed him $100 as he was sharing with friends and others about the difficulties that so many folks are enduring.
“I don’t know if I can get through this,” he said as he told the story of the unexpected gift.
He did, more or less, get through it. He finished telling his story and he concluded it by telling me something I already knew: Most folks are inherently kind and compassionate when they witness their neighbors endure such struggle.
Such kindness is the single most important positive result of this recent round of tragedy.
My heart breaks for this man’s suffering. It’s also filled with joy at the kindness he has received.