Monday, August 3, 2009

Standing with a friend

Yesterday I preached a message in our Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives series on Onesiphorus. He is a man who stood by Paul when he was in prison in Rome. You can read about him in 2 Timothy 1. During the message I shared a story I found on the internet.

Jackie Robinson, the famous baseball player who broke the color barrier in MLB with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was a victim of hate wherever he went. He even had to endure it at his home park of Ebbets Field in NY. Not long after Jackie came into the league he was playing 2nd base during a home game. He made a costly fielding error and the home crowd let him have it. Racial slurs and verbal attacks were hurled from every corner of the stadium. As the volume increased Pee Wee Reese, the much loved shortstop of the Brooklyn Dodgers walked over to 2nd base where the dejected Robinson stood, head down. Pee Wee simply walked over, stood next to Jackie, put his arm around him and faced the crowd. With that simple jester Pee Wee silenced that hostile crowd. Jackie was later quoted as saying that one moment saved his career.

Pee Wee and Onesiphorous have a lot in common. Both of them ignored the risks and in genuine love and concern stood by a friend. I can't help but wonder how much different our world would be if we would reach out to each other the same way. Right now all around us are people who feel alone, rejected and abandoned. What would happen if we would see them as Jesus sees them and respond to them with a simple touch. Just like Paul and Jackie it could be life changing!

Whatever It Takes!

1 comment:

Lucie said...

I loved the story yesterday at church, as part of your sermon...and it contiues to minister to me today. I shared the II Timothy passage and the sermon with a friend at work today. Tim, you not only instruct, God uses you to inspire! Thanks for being willing to do "whatever it takes" Lucie