My daughter, nearly two-years-old, has been really excited about watching The Incredibles lately. The animated film is about a family of superheroes living a mostly ordinary domestic life, when they’re not fighting crime together.
She loves to talk about the part where Mr. Incredible rescues a cat down from a tree on his way to stop a bank robber. “‘Crables stuck eee-ow!” she exclaims in Dahlia-speak.
But stories like this are the kind I hope take on a deeper meaning for her, especially during the holiday season: An Angel on Her Rounds, With Soup and Sandwich.
If the annual eruption of holiday fellowship has made you wonder how you might do better by the world – or if you are quietly congratulating yourself for some unsung act of seasonal kindness – pause to consider what this 76-year-old retired domestic worker living on Social Security has been doing all year round, every year, noticed by few other than those she has helped. And then recalibrate your estimate of just how much good will a single person can generate.
“It just came into my spirit to do,” Ms. Hines said. “This is my ministry, and they’re depending on me. It’s never too hot or too cold or too anything, because I know the guys are here waiting for me. People don’t realize there’s so many homeless people. They’re not all bums – there are educated people out here, trust me. Been to college, some of them. They’re just down on their luck, and I’m here to help.”