Lou Johnson, a 1965 World Series hero for the Los Angeles Dodgers, tried for 30 years to recover the championship ring he lost to drug dealers in 1971. Drug and alcohol abuse cost him everything from that magical season, including his uniform, glove, and the bat he used to hit the winning home run in the deciding game.
When Dodger president, Bob Graziano, learned that Johnson's World Series ring was about to be auctioned on the Internet, he immediately wrote a check for $3,457 and bought the ring before any bids were posted. He did for Johnson what the former Dodger outfielder had been unable to do for himself.
Johnson, 66, who has been drug free for years and a Dodger community relations employee, wept when given the gold ring. He said, "It felt like a piece of me had been reborn."
Countless Christians can testify to a spiritual rebirth as a result of the price that Jesus paid on the cross in their place. He did for them what they could not do for themselves.
The parents of Matthew Shepard, the young gay man who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998, rejoiced over the guilty verdict reached by a Laramie jury in November 1999. The judge told a packed courtroom that the jury's verdict "showed true courage" and sent a message that violence is not the solution to differing views on sexual orientation.
Courtroom observers were not prepared for what Dennis and Judy Shepard did next. After waiting 13 months for a guilty verdict for their son's killers, Matthew Shepard's parents asked the judge to spare the lives of Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson by giving them life sentences rather than the death penalty.
According to attorney Cal Rerucha, who prosecuted the case, "They (the Shepards) could look into the eyes of the man who took their son and give him mercy."
Grace Allows Us To Start Over At Any Time
Long-time Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight was recently fired for apparently violating a zero-tolerance policy placed on him several months ago. Knight's volatile temper has made for a stormy coaching career, bringing repeated accusations of verbally and physically abusing players.
As I followed the media report of this sad story, a thought struck me: I'm sure glad God doesn't place a zero-tolerance policy on us! His amazing grace allows us to start over at any time.