So, I grew up in the American South. The deep south. Where football isn’t just a fun game that promotes casual rivalries. It is much more than that, so much more. I’m thankful that I grew up in a family that had a healthy and exciting approach to the football phenomenon. Unfortunately, for many it has become their religion.
I write this because I heard recently about Penn State’s legendary coach, Joe Paterno, being fired from the University after 46 years as head football coach. I grew up hearing his name and he seemed a legend. He was recently fired because he overlooked another coach’s ongoing sexual abuse towards children and my heart breaks over such a tragedy that affects so many.
As a mother, I cannot even begin to imagine the atrocity of these situations. It is unthinkable. I immediately want to point my finger and cry out in hatred towards the coach who did these awful acts. I start to do just that…and then my heart is lead to thoughts like: “how on earth could this man have done this?” “what on earth must have happened to him to make him like this?” I realize that his life must be in an incredibly painful and pitiful place to ever act the way he did. It doesn’t excuse it of course; (and I am so thankful justice is being done) it just makes me ache all the more for all the brokenness in this world to begin with. It makes me long for healing on both sides of this tragic story.
This leads me to sharing this beautiful piece on redemption and healing taking place in Rwanda for our Monday’s Food for Thought. Through an astonishing and miraculous effort “As We Forgive” has become a movement unparalleled in any other post-genocide country. This photo essay “Love is a Weapon to Destroy Evil” covered by CNN says it all. Hate turned to forgiveness. Love used to fight evil. It’s breathtaking. I hope it speaks hope to you, as it did for me and provides much food for thought today.