Recently I was in Las Vegas. It was the last night of my trip to a foster care parents association conference where I was hawking my new book for foster children: Kit Coyote: A Brave Pup.
As a treat, I went to see the most fabulous magician Mat Franco. Lots of people know him from show America’s Got Talent but I’d never seen the show and never heard of Mat. His magic tricks are stupendous, awe-inspiring and so was his personality as he unfolded bits of his childhood growing up and practicing, practicing, practicing to become a great magician. His ability to stun the thousands in the audience obviously pleased him and it pleased us– because we love to experience MAGIC even as we’re wondering how does he do that…there must be a trick!!
Earlier in the day, however, I learned about a different sort of magic. I heard about the magic performed by Dr. John Degarmo and his wife in caring for foster children. For nearly 15 years, the couple have performed the daily and nightly magic of soothing the hearts of bereaved children, calming their night terrors, coping with their rage, giving these unfortunate girls and boys the chance of believing that someone cares about them in a world that’s been uniformly cruel and callous to them.
I won’t say which magic is more potent. Because the world needs both. We need a conjurer and performer to make us believe in a world beyond the beyond. And we need individuals who are committed to the heartbreaking tasks of giving hope to the hopelessly hurt among us.