Tag Archives: pro life

“It’s Not Fair!”

Story of the Day for Tuesday September 11, 2012

 

“It’s Not Fair!”

 

                                 Mercy triumphs over judgment.  

                                                                              James 2:13

 

 

Many complain that mercy is unfair, and, of course, they’re absolutely right: it is unfair. Is it ever right to bend the rules for a higher cause than fairness?

 

In 2002, Jake Porter attended Northwest High School in McDermott, Ohio – even though he couldn’t read. Jake had Fragile X Syndrome – the most common form of genetic mental retardation.

Yet, Jake was unfailingly cheerful and loved by his classmates. The Homecoming Queen, at the big dance, chose Jake as her escort. Doug Montavon, the school’s all-time rushing leader, doted on Jake and helped him along during football practice.

 

The last football game of the season saw Northwest take a thumping from Waverly High. With five seconds left, Waverly was leading 42-0 when Northwest coach, Dave Frantz called a time out and met with Waverly’s coach, Derek Dewitt.

Coach Frantz told Dewitt that he wanted to send in Jake Porter, who would be handed the ball and would simply take a knee. But Dewitt was having none of it. He returned to the sidelines and told his defense that when the ball was handed to number 54, they were not to touch him, but make sure he scored.

When the quarterback handed Jake the ball, he ran to the line, stopped, and, confused, started running the wrong way. But the referee and players from both teams pointed him toward the goal line.

Jake sliced through the line and galloped for daylight. When he crossed the goal line everyone went wild. Players from both teams were hugging each other. Players from both teams hoisted Jake on their shoulders. Jake’s mom, Liz, said there were no longer two teams out there. “Everybody was on the same team.”

 

Jake’s touchdown run was, of course, unfair – and, with the ref’s assistance, illegal. The sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette whined that if mentally challenged kids want to compete, let them do it in the Special Olympics. “Leave high school football alone, and for heaven’s sake, don’t put the fix in.” Other voices joined him.

No one argues that Jake’s touchdown was fair. It was clearly compassionate. But afterward, people became friendlier. Coach Dewitt, the first black coach in the history of the conference, found racial slurs replaced by people approaching him in grocery stores to shake his hand. He was no longer a black man; he was a man. Dewitt said he caught the school bully patiently teaching a couple of special-needs students how to shoot a basketball. Coach Frantz even got a phone call from Steve Mariucci, the head coach of the 49ers, because his NFL players were so touched by Jake’s touchdown.

 

It’s not fair that any of us should be reunited with God. But I hope you won’t mind if Jesus bends the rules of fairness so that, in the end, mercy will triumph.

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

Take Them on Picnics and Such

Story of the Day for Monday January 23, 2012

Take Them On Picnics, and Stuff

                 They began selling their goods and possessions and handed them out to anyone as he had need. 

                                                                                 Acts 2:45

Neil Kurshan tells the story of a medical student who was torn between completing medical school or dropping out to raise a family. She presented her dilemma to a counselor – who suggested she could do both. She could hire someone to look after the children while she completed her degree.

The medical student told the counselor she had vowed never to entrust her children to a nanny, and then explained why.

Her wealthy parents would vacation in Europe each year and left her with a nanny. When she was eleven, the nanny quit – just before they were planning to leave for Europe. Just before they were set to leave, they found a replacement.

The daughter noticed her mom was wrapping up all the silverware and jewels, and asked why. She had never done that before. Her mother explained that they couldn’t trust the new maid with the family valuables.

That remark deeply shook her daughter. Her mother was entrusting her to a stranger. Wasn’t she a “family valuable”?

 

There is, of course, nothing wrong with hiring babysitters. But we must realize that it is easy to confuse what is truly valuable in life. When Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive, in one simple statement he clarified the proper relationship between possessions and people.

Sociologists at the University of Oklahoma asked students their memories of Christmases past. The students recalled all kinds of family activities and Christmas traditions. But, surprisingly, no one mentioned a single present they received.

 

When the Roman general, Decius, returned victorious after subduing the Gauls, he used his military power to overtake the government, and crowned himself as the Roman Emperor.

Once in power, he launched a vicious persecution of Christians. In the year, 258, the Roman bishop, Sixtus, was martyred. Then Decius had Lawrence, the church’s treasurer, brought before him. Decius promised Lawrence freedom if he surrendered all the church’s treasures.

Lawrence agreed to present the emperor with the church’s wealth, but he would need three days to collect it. The emperor granted the request.

Three days later, Lawrence assembled a group of the poor, the sick, the elderly, widows, and orphans. “These,” Lawrence announced to the emperor, “are the treasures of the Church.”

 

Never keep your treasures in a bank. It’s far too confining, and they’ll wind up eating all the suckers on the bank teller counters. Keep your money in a bank, but hold your treasures close to your heart. And take them on picnics, and stuff.

                                        (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)