Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Angels Walk Among Us

While our business community continues to be challenged by the current economy, there are some leading economic indicators pointing to very positive signs. It was also rewarding last month to see Cornelius ranked as #7 nationally as the “Best American Suburb” and Mooresville touted as the #1 Micropolitan community for new and expanding industry. Quite simply – it is good to be recognized as the Best of the Best.

In a week when the accolades poured, perhaps the one which made me feel best was from Sandy Tilley who runs the Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville. Sandy told our Kiwanis group that volunteers and contributions from area businesses has been in one word – “overwhelming.”

While it came as no surprise to me that Lake Norman was cited as the best place to live, work, and visit, I have to confess I was not aware that facing our current economic plight, benevolence was quite so high. Generosity is nothing new for our region. Just a few months ago we recognized Bruce Forest for his work with the Cornelius Animal Shelter. However, while Bruce was credited, and rightly so for his involvement, the credit also lies with the countless volunteers and donors who made that dream a reality.

I’m reminded about the story of the 8-year old boy that went to a pet store with his dad to buy a new puppy. The store manager showed them to a pen where five little furry balls gathered together. After a while, the boy noticed one of the litter all by itself in an adjacent pen. The boy asked why that puppy was all alone. The manager explained, “The puppy was born with a bad leg and will be crippled for life, “so we’re going to have to put him to sleep.” “You’re going to kill this little puppy?” the boy said sadly while patting it. The manager replied, “You don’t understand he’ll never be able to run and play with a boy like you.”

After a short conversation with his son, the dad told the store manager he and his son wanted to buy the puppy with a bad leg. “For the same money you can have any of the healthy ones. Why do you want this one?” inquired the manager. To answer the manager’s question, the child bent over and pulled up his pants on his right leg, exposing the brace underneath. “Mister, I want this one because I understand what he’s going through.”009_9

When there is so much about today we can lament – the climbing unemployment, lagging sales, uncertain futures – Lake Norman residents are still compassionate. We care as much about each other as we care about ourselves. It’s true that the worst of times often brings out the best in each other. It’s also true that when times seem the worst, Angels walk among us.

They work in soup kitchens, care for neglected strays, deliver meals on wheels, and volunteer with a church or civic club. You will not recognize them by the wings on their back or footprints in the sand but by the smiles on their face. They are God’s gift and a reminder we are never truly alone.

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Social Causes | , , | Leave a comment