I was introduced to Ted Williams (not the Cubs’ great) on Tuesday evening via someone posting a link on Facebook to a Columbus Dispatch article. Just like everyone else, I saw the video below and hoped-upon-hope that this kind homeless man would find & keep a stable job, as well as a home.
Soon, this video went viral…and FAST. Thanks to the media, as well as social media (Facebook is where I saw it most often), millions watched this video (the owner of where I’m linking the video from explains that this isn’t the original, as that was pulled, apparently, for copyright reasons).
Quickly, things moved for this man. He was given interview after interview and received numerous job offers (short and long term). He was even offered a job (and I believe a house) from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before I got to see an actual interview (besides the very 1st video that introduced him to us), I heard about this man’s troubled past. While I was disturbed that he had broken the law a handful of times, I didn’t condemn him for doing so.
When I was growing up, my dad created an organization in Cook County called PADS, which stood for Public Action to Deliver Shelter. Basically, he organized churches to house and feed the homeless in Cook County. You’d think that getting churches to open their doors to the homeless would be an easy task, but it was not. Several obstacles stood in the way, but they were overcome. While serving, volunteers are welcome to talk to the guests. They all have a story…some are eager to share while others are not. However, desperate times call for desperate measures sometimes…so I can understand why Ted Williams did some of the things he did. I’m not condoning it…just saying that I understand. I will not, however, condemn him or wish ill-will on him as some of those that left comments in the above linked story. As Jesus said in John 8: 1-11
Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone… [John 8:1-11, ESV]
I’m actually surprised at the number of people ‘throwing him under the bus’ with nasty comments. Yes, he had a job in radio. Yes, he threw his life away. Yes, he broke the law. And finally, yes, he’s been given a 2nd chance. Who are we to cast judgment as to who is worthy to get a 2nd chance and who shouldn’t? “But what if this is all an elaborate scheme and he’s just tricking us?” This sounds like the same reasoning people give when they come across a homeless person begging for money: “He’ll just spend it on liquor and drugs, so don’t give him anything.” How does this ‘reasoning’ show the love of Christ? Didn’t Christ say that we’ll know one another (i.e. other Christians) by our love?
The last video link I’ll share is the last video I’ve seen of Ted Williams…and that was his interview on the Today show on Thursday. That’s right…homeless Tuesday to being interviewed in New York on the Today show on Thursday. That’s how fast this came about. If you allow yourself to, you can’t help but feel good that this guy was given a 2nd chance in life. I love that he’s acknowledging God as the reason he’s come as far as he has. As Ted points out, God could’ve taken his voice (i.e. his money-maker) from him, but chose not to. Arent you thankful we serve a God who grants 2nd chances?