Monday, August 27, 2007

Michael Vick has found God.

That's nice. I hope it's true. I know all the skeptics out there are rolling their eyes on that one. But sometimes these "jailhouse conversions" are real. The problem is that if Vick's conversion is real, you won't be hearing much about it from the MSM. They only have scorn and derision for born again athletes.

Just recently Michael Irvin was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He had recently "found Jesus" as well. His speech was one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard come from an athlete. Here is final bit:

"You know the Bible speaks of a healing place. It’s called a threshing floor. The threshing floor is where you take your greatest fear and you pray for help from your great God. I want to share something with you today. I have two sons. Michael, he’s 10, and Elijah, he’s 8. Michael and Elijah, could you guys stand up for me. That’s my heart right there. That’s my heart. When I am on that threshing floor, I pray. I say, God, I have my struggles and I made some bad decisions, but whatever you do, whatever you do, don’t let me mess this up.

I say, Please, help me raise them for some young lady so that they can be a better husband than I. Help me raise them for their kids so that they could be a better father than I. And I tell you guys to always do the right thing so you can be a better role model than dad. I sat right here where you are last year and I watched the Class of 2006: Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Harry Carson, Rayfield Wright, John Madden, and the late great Reggie White represented by his wife Sara White. And I said, Wow, that’s what a Hall of Famer is.

Certainly I am not that. I doubted I would ever have the chance to stand before you today. So when I returned home, I spoke with Michael and Elijah . I said, That’s how you do it, son. You do it like they did it. Michael asked, he said, Dad, do you ever think we will be there? And I didn’t know how to answer that. And it returned me to that threshing floor. This time I was voiceless, but my heart cried out. God, why must I go through so many peaks and valleys?
I wanted to stand in front of my boys and say, Do it like your dad, like any proud dad would want to. Why must I go through so much?

At that moment a voice came over me and said, Look up, get up, and don’t ever give up. You tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they did not measure up or wanted to quit, you tell them to look up, get up and don’t ever give up.

Thank you and may God bless you."

There was no doubt in my mind that he was sincere. It was quite beautiful. When I was living in Dallas in the 90's and the Cowboys were superbowl superstars, I never liked Irvin. He was a pompous self absorbed criminal in my mind. When I happened upon his speech on ESPN, I didn't even know he had become a Christian. The media loved reporting his criminal exploits, but they didn't give quite the same coverage to his redemption.

Irvin did some terrible things. Just as Vick has. Is Vick sincere as Irvin seems to be? Time will tell. Time will tell.

I'm always ready to forgive. Because, you know, that is how we are forgiven. And who among us is perfect?