Off the Bench

Off the Bench

I read this article this morning from Michael Newman’s blog, and felt that it was easily as pertinent and well written as anything I might post this morning.  Read and enjoy.

Pastor Aaron

the following is copied from the April 9, 2013 blog post of Rev. Michael Newman at


If you saw Kevin Ware’s injury during the Easter Sunday Louisville-Duke NCAA basketball game, you know how it made you stop in your tracks. I saw one replay and couldn’t watch another one. Louisville player, Kevin Ware, experienced a devastating injury. It was so devastating that his teammates dropped to the floor. Some were nauseous, some were in tears, some were paralyzed in disbelief. Even Duke players were stunned. Even grown coaches cried.

As I watched, I thought to myself, “Isn’t there a team chaplain to help this player out?! Isn’t there a pastor somewhere?!”

Then God’s correction came swooping in. I read an article by Adam Himmelsbach of the Louisville Courier-Journal. He said:

“When University of Louisville forward Luke Hancock saw Kevin Ware lying near the sideline with a shattered right leg, he initially recoiled like his teammates. Some Cardinals were vomiting, others were crying and inconsolable.

But then Hancock thought back to last summer, when he suffered a gruesome shoulder injury in a pickup game. He remembered how others were aghast. He remembered how former U of L guard Andre McGee was the only one to rush to his side, to rush him to the hospital. He remembered how much that had meant.

So as Ware lay there in the first half of the Cardinals’ NCAA Tournament victory over Duke on Sunday, scared and alone and stunned, Hancock ran to him. He held Ware’s hand and told him they would get through this together. He told Ware he would say a prayer for him.

Ware didn’t respond at first, because he was in shock. Hancock took a deep breath, closed his eyes, clenched Ware’s hand and started the prayer.

‘Lord, watch over us and let Kevin be OK during this tough time,’ he began. ‘The Lord does everything for a reason, and He will get us through this.’”

Kevin Ware didn’t need a team chaplain. He got a Christian, a disciple of Jesus at his side. Luke Hancock got off the bench, fought through adversity, and prayed with his hurting brother.

It’s a perfect illustration of the life Jesus gives each of us. We love because He first loved us. We get off the bench because people are broken and in need. We pray, we act, we serve, we share, and we reach out in the midst of sin’s ugliness and paralyzing pain because Jesus didn’t leave us to suffer on our own.

Hancock said, “I wouldn’t want to be alone in that situation, and I don’t think he wanted to be alone.”

May we be so moved to consider every lost or broken person in the same way. May we get off the bench to reach our communities and the world as disciples of our Savior Jesus Christ.