Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: "Mysterious Ways"
By Frank Salerni
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SNAP! You could hear his bone break from across the football field. I will never forget that sound. It was my child on the ground, and I ran down the bleachers toward the goal post pushing my way past onlookers in the stands. The closer I came, the louder his wailing became. He was holding his upper thigh and was writhing in pain. My heart broke knowing what this would mean for this senior high school student.
Brad was not just another player. He was up for a scholarship, but to receive it he needed to gain just ten more yards, and there were only two games left in the season. Everyone in the stands by this time was on there feet standing in silence. The team doctor got there just before I did and had already started to administer first aid. Both teams were huddled around him as he tried, but could not hold back the streams of tears.
I knelt next to him, and whispered into his ear words of comfort along with a short prayer. A look of sorrow was presently set deep in his eyes as the doctor signaled for an ambulance. I was able to ride with him to the Community Hospital.
Just as we arrived at emergency he took my hand in his and said, “I blew it Pop, I’m so sorry.” I simply smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it son, God has His reasons, I’m sure.” My faith was less than strong even though the words demanded courage.
Later, in the waiting room, my true heart was reveled before my God.
“Jesus, I am not angry, but I am disheartened to say the least. You know we can’t afford the cost of collage. Brad was giving his all to get ahead in life. He was keeping up with his studies, maintaining his grade point average, staying home when his friends were having fun, and all this so that I wouldn’t have the burden of finances that could hold him back. He was not selfish, he was not greedy, and I feel so helpless. Won’t You prove to Him Your faithfulness, even in the midst of my faithlessness? Please Lord, don’t allow the enemy to hold him back because of my personal lack. Make intercession for us now.”
The next week we stayed at home and listened to the game on the radio. We hardly said a word to each other, but shared quality time together over a bowl of chips and several cans of soda. The next Friday a most unusual event took place, and I shall never forget it. Brad, on the afternoon of the final game, asked me to take him to the home field where his team, “the Panthers” was playing. We got to the game and he told me that God wanted him to stand with the team on the field. I smiled with a big, wide grin, and then helped him gather his crutches and watched as he slowly make his way to his team. The spectators exchanged comments as they realized Brad was back on the field.
That’s when the miracle happened.
It was the second play of the game and to everyone’s surprise Brad pulled on his jersey and took his place with the team on the field… crutches and all! My heart was in my throat. What on earth was he thinking?
Everyone was on there feet in the stands as the ball was snapped to the quarterback, and then pitched over to Brad. The opposing team broke through the line like raging bulls toward my son. With the football tucked under one arm, and in a full leg cast, Brad walked with his crutches toward the menacing offence who suddenly stopped, stood still, and then cleared a path for Brad to walk just past the ten yard gain he needed for the scholarship. Brad then came to a halt, and placed the ball down on the field.
The crowd, along with both teams, went berserk with applause. I cried, holding my head in my hands, and sobbed praises to our God.
After the game I ask my son what prompted him to do such a thing, and he replied, “The Voice of God and something you said to me just before I got hurt. You said, that the last ten yards I needed was going to be a snap… and it was.”
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