Elves on a Ladder Truck

I love this heartwarming story by Thomas Horne of Maryland from HeroicStories, a free e-letter filled with wonderful accounts of human kindness. There are so many people in need of help and kindness. When life presents you with the opportunity to help, don’t hesitate to act. Even the smallest assistance can be life-changing.


December 24, 1988 our firehouse ambulance was racing in response to a baby being shaken out a window three stories in the air. Police were also en route. Dispatch relayed that the baby was being used to extort money from the mother. On arrival we indeed saw a baby being waved out a window by his feet three stories up.

As we ran up the stairs my partner said, “Distract the guy for a minute, I’ll get the baby.”

A crying 5-year-old child opened the door, “He’s hurting my brother!” I entered, speaking as calmly as I could. Wild-eyed, the assailant said, “Don’t touch me, cop, or I smash the brat.”

I said, “I’m a firefighter. I only want to check the baby.”

Suddenly a pair of hands appeared and grabbed the child. From the apartment’s kitchen, my driver had gone out the window and reached across to grab the child — three stories up.

WildEyes looked at his now-empty hands, charged past me and escaped.

Breathing raggedly, I surveyed a desperately bleak room. One bare bulb, broken furniture, an empty drawer for a crib. My partner came in holding the baby very close to himself, saying over and over, “He’s all right. He’s all right.”

We gathered up mother and two other children. Downstairs we met an army of police officers. As we loaded up the family, the officers took the perpetrator’s description. With the madman’s picture etched into my brain, I described him from top to bottom.

After transporting the family to children’s hospital, we took another call. When the officers caught the assailant he fought, bruised two officers, and ended up needed stitches.

Back at the station, a senior firefighter asked me for every detail. When I finished, he said, “You can’t fix the world but you can mend parts of it,” and got our shift together. “We have a family to care for,” he said.

“It’s Christmas eve! Most stores are closed,” we chorused. The captain replied, “I think this shift could pull it off on Christmas day.” No one argued further.

Groups went to the grocery, a toy store, and a child care supply store. Between us, we assembled Christmas for a family that needed everything. Next item, the only unpurchased Christmas tree left from our department’s tree sale fund-raiser. The crew shortened that poor scraggly thing and trimmed it to a decent shape. A 24-hour pharmacy yielded lights and ornaments.

We called the hospital and found the baby’s evaluation would take several more hours; the family would be sent home in the morning.

At 11:00 p.m. we were finally ready. But back at the apartment building, the apartment door had a double-cylinder jimmy-proof lock.

We laddered the apartment, and hauled all the supplies up the ladder.

Two different police officers came by with more items. We all agreed that at least for one day, the baby’s brother and sister and yes,even his mom, could believe in Santa Claus.

Click here to sign up for the free Heroic Stories e-letter.

Click here to view all my posts on the transcendent power of kindness.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

To order your copy of Through God’s Eyes, go to GodsEyesOrder.com OR order from Amazon at GodsEyesAmazon.com OR for an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

Click here for more information about Through God’s Eyes.
Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Want to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 40-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at GodIsLogical.com.

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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