Joanna and I once found ourselves living in a pickup camper (similar to this one) in a now-nonexistent trailer park in downtown Phoenix. Our only vehicle needed engine repairs costing a couple thousand dollars that we didn’t have, forcing us to rely on mass transit for weeks.

Many people might have considered us to be at least on the verge of homelessness, though we both worked — me in corporate public relations — for a well-known company run by a bizarre family. Yet Joanna began taking a bus from her job to volunteer with a soup kitchen. And when we eventually moved into an apartment, she convinced me that we should give the camper to an organization that aided the homeless.

For someone who follows politics as much as we try to, might be easy to become discouraged by world events. But my wife doesn’t fall victim to despair, instead recognizing that “We are God’s eyes, God’s hands” and, “In the end only kindness matters.” We could not belong to a church that didn’t work for social justice.

The quotes above, of course, come from Jewel’s song, “Hands.” We’ve been fans of Jewel at least since an episode of “Austin City Limits” on which she gave a performance of “Who Will Save Your Soul” that gave us chills before turning to each other and simultaneously saying, “Wow.” I couldn’t find a video of that performance, but I did find another show in which (near the end) she yodels impressively with her father.

“Hands” also has relevance for us in another sense: Years ago, both of us studied Reiki, though now we practice it only on one another. I also help ease some recurring nerve pain by stimulating pressure points (acupressure) in her arms, leg and back. We have both worked as chiropractic assistants, and are big believers in the benefits of chiropractic care and massage.

Lyrics of “Hands” here, with video below:

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