The mangled body of the victim was crushed under the weight of the Detroit steel. Whether he was dead or not, the damage was fatal. But, to be sure that the job was finished, the man climbed out of his car with a gun to finish the job. At that very moment, a traffic cop that normally escorts kids across the highway to school arrived. He had seen and pursued the driver and his flagrant disregard for the schools speed zone, just to arrive a moment too late to prevent the mauling. He stepped from the cruiser, and told the assailant to drop his gun. Instead, the man fired. The policemen fell dead immediately with a gunshot wound to the head.

Two young boys sat in the turkey blind waiting for the passing of the ducks. Waiting for them to make their way toward them. At the exact moment they both sprung up from their hidden lair and drew their riffles, one boy jumped up, aimed, and fired quicker than the other. The slower moving boy jumped up in front of the muzzle of his friends gun, and as such took the full blast of the 12-gauge to the back of the head.

Summer camp is fun for all those who can afford it, for those who have the leisure to attend, and  for all those whose parents send them. Fun for those who have a mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, and dog Fido back home to miss. Fun if you have someone to write to during quiet time. But for an orphan, summer camp isn’t part of your summer plans, unless someone decides to be the love, someone chooses to think of others, is selfless, and has compassion.

These three sad stories would be just that sad stories if it weren’t for people like Jamie and Katelyn.

Jamie studies Mechanical Engineering and plays trumpet in the school band. As a Sophomore, Jamie commutes 30 minutes to school, works at a pizza parlor, but he is the love in his community. When the police officer was gunned down, Jamie and his father got a professional BBQ master friend to cook, they bought all the meat, and they raised $10,000 dollars to erect a statue at the sight of the crosswalk he patrolled for 8 years. Perhaps it wasn’t enough to bring the man back, but enough to ensure that his act of heroism and public service would be remembered and emulated.

When the boy was in the hospital with the gunshot blast to the head, he was in a coma. As the hospital bills began to accumulate and exceed the ability of his parents to pay, Jamie and his father employed their BBQ expertise again and raised the money. While they were at the BBQ one day that received a curious call. It was from the hospital, the young boy had regained consciousness, and was phoning in his order and his thanks.

When Jamie’s girlfriend Katelyn and her family put together the summer camp, they were determined to leave no one behind, and no one left out. Every year, they find the funds, love, and energy to ensure that every orphan has a place at the summer camp table. A sleeping bag, bug spray, and a pair of hiking boots don’t seem like that big a deal for most kids to find somewhere around the house, but for some there are no family sleeping bags, no one to buy them stamps for the postcards from camp, and and no one to buy cans of deet to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Jamie and her family see to it…all for love.

I’ve said it time and again. What you do for peace doesn’t have to be a 10,000 mile walk/run. It doesn’t have to be 10,000 portraits. It doesn’t have to be anything noteworthy or spectacular. It is just what is easy, what is loving, what feels right. Be the love in your world.

If we all just sweep our own porch, the whole world would be clean. Porches are like smiles, they carry the promise of happiness.

 

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