At times, I get discouraged with the news coverage in our country. It seems only the horrific and hopeless make the headlines. To avoid feeling weighed down by all the doom and gloom that’s broadcast, I have been known to go on a news fast for days at a time. I would like to see more headliners featuring stories of hope and the deeds of the kindhearted. Instead of just whining and wishing, I’m going to do something about that. Right now.

Last week, a good Samaritan paid a visit to me. My Samaritan’s identity remains unknown, but I know that the kindness this mystery do-gooder demonstrated to me is not unappreciated, and now, is not undocumented.

On Thursday morning, I offered to stop by the bank during my lunch hour to deposit my husband’s paycheck, knowing he had an unusually busy day. Tucking the endorsed check into my purse next to my phone, I rushed out the door and headed to work. Several hours later, as I reached into my purse for my phone, I noticed the check was no longer safely tucked away next to it. I discovered that the check was in fact, not tucked anywhere in my purse when I frantically emptied its contents onto the couch in my office.

I felt a wave of panic wash over me, as thoughts came crashing in. He endorsed that check. Anyone could cash it. Practicing what I teach my clients, I took a deep breath and decided to let the negative thoughts just pass right on by. Thoughts aren’t facts. I searched for a more hopeful thought; Maybe it fell out of my purse in the car. I quickly retraced my steps, praying while I walked, God, please let that check be in the car. After a thorough search of the car, and then a second search just to be sure, another wave of panic tried to engulf me. We have bills to pay this week. We need that money. I took another deep breath, and prayed again, God, please help me to find that check. Another thought: Maybe it fell out of my purse at the house. I was trying to stay hopeful.

I called my husband, and explained the situation. He was able to double back to the house and look, but was unable to find the check there either. Reluctantly, I suggested he call his employer and tell them his wife had a blonde moment (we blondes are allowed to make fun of ourselves), ask them to cancel the check and reissue another. He agreed. The situation seemed hopeless. I wanted to believe that if someone found the check, they would not cash it, and maybe even mail it back to the employer, whose address was on it. But I was struggling to believe that someone would actually do that. Still, I whispered another prayer. I returned to work that afternoon with an empty stomach and an empty bank account.

When the situation seems hopeless, Hope whispers, Believe.

Later that afternoon, I picked up my cell to check messages, and blinked in disbelief at a recent text from my husband; his check was at the police station. Tears of gratitude pooled in my eyes, blurring the text message before me. But the message was clear enough; when he had called his employer to inform them it was lost, they told him someone had found it on the sidewalk and took it to the police station. The police notified my husband’s employer that the check was in their possession.

Are you smiling? I hope so! Recounting this story warms my heart again. There are good people in the world. It’s one thing to be kind to those we know, but when someone goes out of his way to do something kind for someone he does not know, that is worth talking about. Much better way to spend our time than talking about all of the unkind things people do to each other.  Where’s the hope in that? It’s easy to forget the good, in a world plastered with negative headlines. Let’s not forget. Let’s remember to tell the stories about random acts of kindness and the good-hearted people who still believe in doing what’s right.

So, to the Good Samaritan of Seattle who picked up my husband’s paycheck and took it straight to the police station instead of the bank, God bless you! And trust me, I have asked Him to do just that!

So how about it? Will you help me tell the kind of stories that inspire hope and belief in the goodness of people? Do you have a good Samaritan story you’d like to share?