And then I went into one of my semi-insane flights of fancy, this one about the pageant of Christ I’ve been mentally conjuring lately. I said “You know how in a parade on earth there are…oh I don’t know, five-star generals, and beauty queens and grand marshals? Well I’m thinking after we die or…you know, when it all comes together in the end, there’ll be a different kind of parade, when all the people who were good, who were kind, who God sees as important get to ride on their floats. So there’ll be Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. and...I don't know, the people who drowned trying to rescue someone else, and bringing up the rear, limping, staggering, inching along in broken wheelchairs with a dingy banner, there’ll be the alcoholics! Not just the ones who got sober, either, but all of us. Because we suffer so much and people think it’s our fault and we try, most of us, to be kind anyway…
I looked over. Alan was staring straight ahead, a set look on his face.
“I can’t get as far as anything like that at all,” he said. “I’m just trying to train myself not to swear so my son will let me hang out with my grandkids.”
Plus it turns out he doesn’t even have any grandkids yet. He wants to be in shape for them if and when down the line.
So there you have it. The heroism of ordinary people who walk the streets, our secret sorrows, the invisible burdens the better among us bear without complaining, never even knowing what they do is a huge, noble deal.
-- Heather King