I have five children. The youngest are Benjamin, age 17, and Luke, age 13.
When we get home from church on Sundays, I’m not really allowed to speak to them because they’re so focused on football. They know all the players and all the stats and basically announce the games as they watch on TV. I’ve always said they should host a podcast because their interactions are hysterical.
While my wife, Stacy, and I were watching TV on Monday night, Benjamin and Luke, independently of each other, came to us after witnessing what happened with Damar Hamlin.
They were both visibly upset. They weren’t sure how to process what they just saw – a professional athlete having cardiac arrest and being resuscitated on the field to save his life.
As I started to watch the coverage, I couldn’t help but feel for the commentators, who really didn’t know what to say. I could see and hear the raw emotion in their words and body language.
The entire situation immediately had me reflecting on the fragility of this beautiful thing called life. It reminded me that the experience of this 23-year-old elite athlete can happen to any of us at any time.
In the hours and days that have followed, I’ve been thinking about the response of my sons to this tragedy being a universal human response. And it gives me hope.
It made me appreciate that my kids, who have been heavily involved in Federation of Christian Athletes (FCA) camps and activities, understand the healing power of prayer, just like the players who came together, took a knee, held hands, and prayed when Damar Hamlin went down. Just like the fans who prayed and held vigils.
You could see the emotion in the faces of people on the field and in the stadium. There was no debate about continuing the game. Everyone was focused on the life of a fellow human being.
Regardless of faith, regardless of what people believe or don’t believe, every person has been unified in their support of Damar. During a time in human history when it seems impossible to get people to agree on anything, the response to this tragedy has been universal, whether you’re a professional athlete, a teenage Proodian boy, or a casual observer.
We showed that we’re all part of one race. The human race.
As humans, we’re living, breathing miracles, thanks to God’s design. While we often focus on the physical design, this experience should remind us that we were designed to care for each other, support each other, and look out for each other.
This is the universal human response and compassion I’ve witnessed since Monday night. And it gives me hope.