Story By: Lisa Petrarca
He had hopes and dreams in his youth. He played hide and seek, dodge ball and had many friends. He had food on the table, slept in a warm bed at night and had parents who loved him very much. In high school he was the star quarterback, went to dances and had a steady girlfriend. But that one evening irrevocably changed his life forever.
It was Saturday night, the mist covering the windshield as they headed up the steep, windy mountain rode. Three cars filled with boys, girls and beer. They had just won the biggest game of the year against their rival school. It was going to be a night of celebrating.
They reached the top, piled out and started to party. Half an hour later, five cars pulled into the dusty parking lot. A group of people jumped out. They were older and looked like a rough crowd.
The quarterback was drunk and agitated that they were trying to crash the party. He shouted, “Get out of here! You need to find somewhere else to go…this is our spot.”
The rough crowd charged him. A teammate jumped in front of the quarterback, something bright flickered in the moonlight. Sliding into his chest, he slumped over and fell to the ground. They ran to their cars, tires spinning up dust as they sped away from the scene of the crime.
Stunned, the quarterback picked up his teammate, running to his car he carefully put him inside. He raced to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The knife had penetrated his heart.
Life was never the same, he felt responsible for his teammates death. He began to drink heavily and take drugs to numb the pain and guilt. As the years passed his hopes and dreams faded away, he withdrew from life.
The homeless man stood at the corner. He was dirty, hungry and cold. The harsh realities of life along with his poor choices and guilt had beaten, worn and taken away all of his dignity. People walked past him, as he held his sign up asking for food. They looked at him with disdain. Someone shouted, “Get a job loser!”
The homeless star quarterback was asking for food, but he also needed love, compassion and forgiveness. He had been judged his entire life. Who would reach out to him? Who would see past his appearance and notice the lost, hurting soul inside? He needed nourishment for his soul. He needed the love of Christ.
When you look at others, do you see their appearance or do you try to look at them through Christ’s eyes? It’s so easy to judge, but we are called to be different. Remember, our actions should speak louder than words. Don’t walk by someone needing your help. Show them the love and compassion of your Savior Jesus Christ.
“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” John 13:14-17