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A Father’s Love & The Olympics

The 2014 Olympics officially began on Friday, Feb. 7. When I read this story from a devotional book I received, I reflected on having seen this story take place as I watched the Olympics on TV that year.  It made me reflect on the heart wrenching experiences of the last few weeks and of a Father’s love!

In 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics, Jim Redmond’s son, Derek, was favored to win the four-hundred-meter race.  Part of the way through his semifinal heat, pain seared through young Derek’s right leg, causing him to crumple to the track with a torn hamstring.

As the medical attendants and coaches approached him, Redmond fought to his feet in an attempt to finish the race.  When Derek reached the stretch, a big man pushed through the crowd.  The man was wearing a shirt that read, “Have you hugged your child today?” and a hat that said, “Just Do It.”  The man was Jim Redmond, Derek’s Dad.

“You don’t have to this,” Jim told his weeping son.

“Yes, I do,” Derek emphatically replied.

“Well, then,” said his Dad, “We’re going to finish this together.”

And they did.  Jim wrapped Derek’s arm around his shoulder and helped him hobble to the finish line.  They stayed in Derek’s lane to the end.

The crowd was on their feet cheering for them. What made the Dad do it?  The pain of his child. . . . . . This past few weeks, we have seen parents, families and friends in pain and heartache. Friends and other family members hurting.  What I have also seen, is just like the Dad coming down from the stands, a community that wrapped their arms around these hurting families through their loving expressions of food, cards, prayers and presence.

As we stand together, shoulder to shoulder, may we never forget that we are on this journey of life and faith together. That our loving Parent sent His one and only Son to show us how to run the race of life and death.  We are Blessed to be God’s children in this community!

In God’s Love,

Pastor Judy

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