Psalm 107:221st Century King James Version (KJ21)
2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.
Redemption; bad kid turns good; and happy endings this is part of what America is about. Redemption represents triumph, and any story that credits the Lord with this redemption is especially appealing to those who consider themselves “religious” or “evangelical”. Part of the redemption process is the “overcoming” of evil or “the evil one”, Satan, Beelzebub or ______ is appealing to people because it gives hope for a better day and a better set of circumstances regardless of the situation that we find ourselves in at the present time.
In Jeremiah 18:1-6, Jeremiah the prophet was instructed to go to a potter’s house. At the house he saw the potter make a pot that was not quite to his liking. The potter pushed the malleable pot into a ball of clay once again. Then he proceeded to remake the pot into something better. God likened the pot to the people of Israel. He said that He was the potter. God told Jeremiah that as the maker and molder of the nation of Israel, God had the authority to shape the nation as He pleased. Like the potter, God lovingly molds His people into a vessel that He is proud to display.
Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/redemption-in-the-bible-7-powerful-stories/#ixzz3qxFXoSS6
So, it against this backdrop that two stories touched me this week. The first is of Debi Thomas, the Olympic skater. Both Debi Thomas and Tai Babilonia were names from the past that represented the glamorous Olympic skating world. Skating is a “glam” sport and is often lovely to watch, at least to me. Sometimes it happens that we like to imagine the lives of people in glamorous positions as living glamorous and heroic lives….. all the time. We find it hard to imagine them wondering around all weekend in bathrobes, eating ice-cream and watching a season’s worth of episodes of their favorite cable drama. So it was surprising to me to hear that Debi Thomas did NOT make it out of he post-skating life with any success at all.
Debra Janine Thomas (born March 25, 1967) is an American figure skater and physician. She is the 1986 World champion, two-time U.S. national champion and 1988 Olympic bronze medalist. Her rivalry with East Germany‘s Katarina Witt at the 1988 Calgary Olympics was known as the Battle of the Carmens. Debi was introduced to Scottish skating coach Alex McGowan at age 10. In the 1983 skating season, Thomas began to represent the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, which launched her career. McGowan would remain her coach until she retired from amateur competition at age 21. Wikipedia
Thomas won both the 1986 U.S. national title and the 1986 World Championships; those achievements earned Thomas the ABC‘s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year award that year. She was the first female athlete to win those titles while attending college full-time since Tenley Albright in the 1950s. She was the first African-American to hold U.S. National titles in ladies’ singles figure skating. Thomas was a pre-med student at Stanford University during this time although it was unusual for a top U.S. skater to go to college at the same time as competing. Wikipedia
She won the World Championships, the U.S. National title, won the bronze medal, went back to school to become an orthopedic surgeon, graduated from Stanford University in 1991 with a degree in engineering and from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 1997, followed this with a surgical residency at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Hospital and an orthopedic surgery residency at the Martin Luther King Jr./Charles Drew University Medical Center in South Central Los Angeles.
In June 2005, Thomas graduated from the Orthopedic Residency Program at Charles R. Drew University in Los Angeles. She spent the next year preparing for Step I of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ exam and working at King-Drew Medical Center as a junior attending physician specialist. In July 2006, she began a one-year fellowship at the Dorr Arthritis Institute at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood, California, for sub-specialty training in adult reconstructive surgery.
Olympic athlete, brilliant student, accomplished to the world. In our minds, Debi Thomas lives somewhere in a beautiful city, with a beautiful house, a handsome husband, two beautiful and house-broken animals, nannies, fabulous vacations, seats on the boards of many institutions and just an all around fabulous life……. right?
Wrong. As of 2015, Thomas was living in a bed bug-infested trailer in the Appalachian mountains with her fiance who struggles with anger and alcohol issues. Thomas states she is “broke” and lost custody of her 13-year old son. Her successes have faded into a vague memory. The most amazing thing about the situation is that deep down, she does not want it to change, it was a burden. Although she is an educated woman with a medical degree, she has opened a Go Fund Me website to raise money just to “keep her head above the water” with the hopes of one day staring in her own reality show, right from the filthy trailer in Appalachia. Her fiance beats her regualrly, her storage facility is crammed with her remnants of a former life. The clinic she once worked at no longer allows her on the premises since the last time she was there she and her fiance had a physical altercation which ended with them destroying property and the police having to punch Debi to calm her down. She was offered a 90 day alcohol detox program for her fiancee , Jamie, which he accepted. Donors gave Debi an apartment for 90 days in Chicago and a life coach and counseling afterward.
Debi left the Chicago apartment after 30 days. Jamie left detox after 2 weeks. They’re back together in the trailer, and plan to get married. None of the quotes or life storybook images published about her were ever true. She is an ordinary person who once performed extraordinary things but times changed and she is now simply human and broken…… more so than many other people.
So what, you might ask. Who cares? The reason that I bring up this story is to illustrate that not one of us is greater or lesser than any other man or woman. The attributes that some people might have will make us believe that they are “more” than we are, have more than we do and essentially allow us to elevate these people higher than they should be. Much to our detriment. Even the great ones go to the restroom, lie, cheat and steal.
Two days ago I hit the sand storm because I had the temerity to print a story that suggested that there are some inaccuracies in the tales of heroism and redemption performed by Dr. Ben Carson. I don’t know about the the knife and the belt buckle story, nor the mother and the hammer story but I do know that there are times when we “mis-remember” the past or get “carried away” with our own theories.
No man walking the earth is God and in our zeal to find “the one” on this earth, we bestow munificent qualities to ordinary men and women. Jesus does not “talk” directly to us. For example, He has never said to me “Hey Ang…. I want you to …..”. When we read the Word, we “hear” through the power of the Scriptures that often strike a chord within our hearts. The parables often give a story that will pertain our situation and our lives. And while He grants higher “talents”to some more than others……….. Each one of us will suffer
Don’t let your politics become your God or your religion. It burdens you with the idea of deifying a normal human and it burdens the receiver with the idea that they sit at the Right Hand of the Father when they know deep down that they do not. When people want to believe something so badly that they will reject the revealed truth of the Scriptures, and seek a “direct response” from God, he will allow them to believe what they will — even lies.