Thursday, January 24, 2013


I recently read a story by Jim Denison about Matthew who survived a car crash involving a drunk driver, but his girlfriend and friend were killed.  Friends created a Twitter hashtag, hoping to get the quarterback’s attention and their campaign worked.  Tim Tebow learned about Matthew’s tragedy and called him.  Tebow later said, “You think of what have I done to deserve an opportunity to encourage a kid like that.  It’s worth everything and it’s awesome.  It’s better than any touchdown I’ll ever score.”

People magazine has profiled “individuals whose extraordinary bravery and kindness stood out this year.”  They included Michael McDonnell and Dylan Smith who rescued six people during Superstorm Sandy; J.D. and James Bennett, who pulled two toddlers from a burning van in California; Madison Wallraf, who saved 22 horses in a burning barn; and NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo whose gift of shoes to a homeless man made international headlines.

This inspirational sports story also made the headlines.  Jared Stevens has cerebral palsy and is a member of the Sunset Middle School wrestling team in Nashville, TN.  He cheers for the team during practices and matches, but always wanted to wrestle.  When his school competed against Freedom Middle School recently, his coach asked the other school’s coach which wrestler on his team had the kindest heart.  He was introduced to seventh-grader Justin Kievit.

Jared’s coach placed him on the gym floor.  Justin shook his hand, lay down beside him, put Jared’s arm over his body, and was pinned, giving Jared the victory.  Good Morning America told their story and the video went viral.  Jared’s father said, “The two adjectives that come out of this whole episode are courage and character, on both of these guys’ parts.”  Justin said, “Sometimes winning isn’t the right thing, isn’t the most important thing.”  The news anchor who reported the story said, “It makes you feel better about the world.”

In a society worried about the economy, unrest around the globe, and climate changes, these examples prove that simple acts of compassion impact more people than we can imagine.  As HE’s theme verse indicates, it doesn’t take much salt or light to make a big difference (Matthew 5:13-16).

Your next act of kindness can change the world and our iCARE program is an opportunity for HE associates to share the light with those with whom they come in contact.  “To the world, you might be only one person but to one person, you might be the world.”  The darker the room, the brighter the candle.

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