West Franklin Family,
I love my job. I get to both study the Word of God and help others see how God is working His Word and purposes out in their lives. I get to do this For. A. Living. Just this week, I got to sit in on nine different stories of faith. How God chooses to pursue us, that God chooses to pursue us, is beyond any sense of comprehension. His love is extravagant, to say the least. One of our members was led to the Lord by a Christian-branded weight lifting team. Another was stirred by the Spirit watching reruns of a horribly produced Easter cantata on a scratchy VHS tape. Another, after failing out of a difficult private school, was captured by the Spirit at a “lower standard” Christian school. Still another fell under conviction while watching an old show about ancient prophecies. One of our members led another one of our members to the Lord while they were in college. Both are now deacons. Another was converted because his sister was converted. And another’s heart was stirred when a backwoods preacher from Alabama belted out the Good News from a pulpit in Tennessee.
Breathtaking. God will use just about anything to speak to, draw, soften, and rescue His people. I guess, if you think about it, if God would send His own Son to accomplish the incredible plan – there is nothing He wouldn’t do to get the Word out. It’s as if every human being has a story and, as an image-bearer, is worthy of attention and time and presence and being known.
One of the nine stories I heard this week was one I read on a secular web-site. I am not sure if this man is a Christ-follower. Segments of the article seem to indicate otherwise. But many parts of his life sure do seem Christ-like. His name is Andy Reid. Tomorrow night, he will coach the Kansas City Chiefs to their second Super Bowl appearance in as many years. If you are football fan, I commend the article to you. Heck, you might even like it if you don’t care for the sport. Reid has become known as taking “problem” players and giving them a second chance. Here’s the part of the article that stood out to me:
“Reid’s coaching tenure here has been defined by his ability to recognize and cultivate talented players and coaches. While he was with the Eagles, Reid had famously signed Michael Vick after the quarterback served 21 months in federal prison on dog fighting charges. . .In 2013, he drafted tight end Travis Kelce, who’d been suspended at the University of Cincinnati after testing positive for marijuana. Within a few years, he became one of the best players in the NFL. Then in 2015, the team drafted cornerback Marcus Peters, who had been kicked off the University of Washington football team for fighting with his own coaches. A year after that, the Chiefs selected wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, who had been suspended four times at the University of Florida. Then Reid drafted Tyreek Hill, a wide receiver who had been dismissed from the Oklahoma State team after he was arrested for domestic violence. The Chiefs also traded for defensive end Frank Clark, who was dismissed from the University of Michigan football team — also for domestic violence. Critics have suggested Reid was getting more desperate to win a Super Bowl, that he was filling his roster with talented criminals. . . But Reid’s players and closest friends see something different. They see a man who knows that doing bad things doesn’t always make someone a bad person. They see a man who believes people are worthy of redemption — and maybe football can help.”
I don’t know if I would have worded the last sentence or two like that, but I sure do love the implication. Andy Reid sees people worthy of redemption. In other words, he sees them as humans who are still on earth having their stories written. He doesn’t throw them out because of their past. He offers another chance. He offers hope. He offers a different ending to their story. He communicates that they are seen, seen as football players, seen as human beings.
Again, I am not sure if Reid is a believer yet. But I want to be like him in this. I like Andy’s way. It truly is God-like, not to see “just” a past or “just” a mistake; but to see a human worth the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. As a matter of fact, Jesus said it like this: “Do you see this woman?”
Who in your life needs you to see them? Who has the Father put around you who needs to know they are loved and worth the sacrifice of God’s own Son? Who has been cast off by others and needs someone to just be with them? God can and does use just about anything to get the attention of those He loves. Even you.
Maybe YOU are the one who needs this today. God sees you. God knows you. God loves you. If you are breathing, He isn’t done with you. The story is still being written.
I don’t know if Andy’s story will include another Super Bowl ring or not. But because of his influence, others have a new story to tell. Let’s be like that, West Franklin. Helping one another and others around us live in the light of God’s story. A story that reveals the infinite worth of redemption.
I’ll see you tomorrow with my Bible open to Luke 8:4-15.
Because He Lives – We Can Face Tomorrow,