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Be The Reason Someone Smiles Today


I came across this true-life story the other day and it touched my heart as a powerful combination of “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22.39) and “whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7.12). I hope you enjoy it and find meaning in it as I did.  -- Pastor Tim

Growing up, many of us heard variations of a simple yet important phrase: be kind, because you never know what someone else is going through.

Shawn certainly didn’t know the old man’s story, but he was curious. Since the first day he started on the job site across from the nursing home, the Ohio crane operator had seen him outside every day, sitting in his wheelchair and watching the construction workers doing their jobs.

The man, a resident of the nursing home, would stay all day, bringing lunches with him and leaving only when Shawn headed home. Shawn couldn’t help but wonder why. So, one day, he decided to strike up a conversation. 

Shawn learned the man’s name is Harold, and that he’d been a crane operator himself for decades. He’d been living at the nursing home for seven years, and hadn’t seen his three children in all that time. Shawn’s heart broke even more when he heard Harold was nearing the end of his life.

“His heart valves are clogged and some disease has been eating at him for years,” Shawn wrote in a Facebook post. “He said he enjoys seeing what he used to love to do for a living and never thought he’d ever be able to see or be around a crane again and let alone be so close to see one in action.”

So, Shawn decided to strike up a deal with his new friend. And Harold was thrilled.

“Our deal is this, Harold ran cranes for over 50 years and no matter how good you think you are at something there’s always more to learn. So I told Harold every day after work I’ll sit with him for a little bit so he can critique me and judge me on how I did for that day. In return I would bring him a black coffee every morning for as long as I’m here and buy him lunch twice a week from wherever he chooses. He didn’t skip a beat before “ABSOLUTELY!” came out of his mouth.”

Being able to brighten Harold’s last days means the world to Shawn. In fact, that’s why he’s sharing his story — to encourage others to not “be afraid to make someone else’s day better. Always try to enlighten someone’s spirits.”

Corinne Sanders

Writer @ InspireMore


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