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“When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” (Mr. Rogers)

Mr. Rogers’s infamous words were advice for three-year-olds who need comfort in times of tragedy and trauma. In the ensuing years, he clarified helpers as “favorite adults” and rescue teams. During the COVID pandemic, adults latched on to the quote, turning it into memes and wall prints.

When I remember Mr. Roger’s words of wisdom, I think he would say to adults, “Look for the helpers. You will find opportunities.” My parents were helpers, and I have spent my lifetime helping. Helpers as those who, through acts of love, kindness, and compassion, do good things to make the world a better place.

Such was the case when I fell several weeks ago as my foot slid forward on a round stone as though on a skateboard. Down I went, landing partially in the road. I felt my elbow snap and the grittiness of what I would later learn were bone fragments. As my husband leaned over me, we debated what to do. No need to worry. Although we didn’t know it at the time, help was on the way.

Nearly instantly, our neighbors, John and Tina Davis, miraculously pulled alongside us. They were returning from a trip, and John thought he’d take a different route home. Tina asked John why the change. John replied in his characteristically matter-of-fact manner that he didn’t know; he felt like it. As they neared where I lay in the road, they spotted my husband leaning over me. Without hesitation, agreed they had to help. They got me into their van, and off we went to the hospital. If they had gone their usual route, they never would have seen us.

A week later, I had a terrible day of pain and concern about the care I was getting medically. In the early evening, I sat at my kitchen table, completely exhausted and overcome with the reality of my situation. With tears forming a small puddle, I poured my heart out to my husband. No sooner had I started, but three sets of neighbors showed up with hugs, flowers, and food.

A colleague reached out, and as I shared my medical care dilemma, she suggested someone else I could consult. I called and got in nearly immediately. Thankfully, I had trusted my gut, and my colleague had obeyed hers in contacting me.

I believe many helpers are angels or assisting angels. We’re to call on angels whenever we are in need. In emergencies, they will intervene without being asked. You may wonder why they didn’t prevent my fall. I don’t know for sure, but I know my injury is part of my journey and the journey of others.

Where there are helpers, there are opportunities for us also to help. It is in the giving that we receive the greatest gifts.

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