The sports world, and the NFL specifically, were rocked yesterday by the unspeakable tragedy of the late Jovan Belcher. This 25-year old starting linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs shot his girlfriend and then took his own life. This horrendous act left the couple’s 3-month old baby daughter, Zoey, without a Mom and Dad.
I was watching NBC’s coverage of the Chiefs post-game press conference today, as coaches and players sought to express in words the emotions of the last 24 hours. What came through was a mixture of numbness, confusion, and grief. And a ton of questions.
I preached this morning from Mark 3:7-19. The central idea of my message was “The gift of Jesus comes to us to work through us.” I believe we often over-complicate “the gift of Jesus working through us.” We think it has to accompany writing in the sky, massive altar calls, or a world-changing legacy. In reality, it’s much more ordinary than that. Much more ordinary and much more real life. It’s as simple as taking an opportunity to go out of our way to engage another human being in a way that reflects the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Brady Quinn, the starting quarterback for the Chiefs, made some excellent points in his post-game interview today. This is how he expressed what he felt and thought after these events unfolded:
“I know what happened and I was sitting thinking in my head, what could I have done differently? You know, when you ask someone how they’re doing, do you really mean it? When you answer someone back how you’re doing, are you really telling them the truth? We live in a society of social networks and Twitter pages and Facebook, and that’s fine stuff; but we have contact with our work associates, our family, our friends, and it seems like half the time we’re more preoccupied with our phone and other things going on instead of the relationships we have right in front of us. Hopefully people can learn from this and try to actually figure out if someone’s battling something deeper on the inside other than what they’re revealing on a day to day basis.”
I’m challenged by those words. We live in a fast-paced, isolated, and consumeristic culture, but if we have the gift of Jesus Christ, our lives should be lived differently. There are a number of relationships that are “right in front us” every single day that we often overlook.
Lord, help me to see with eyes and hear with ears that reflect your heart this week. Drown out the noise in my head with the voice of your Holy Spirit. Help me to be found listening and acting on what you speak. Amen.