I’m not the greatest sports fan. I do watch whenever I can UCONN basketball, a habit I got into when I served the church in Coventry, CT for ten years and had assistant coaches in my congregation. This summer I have enjoyed very much watching the World Cup soccer matches. But then again, generally if I watch American football at all, I am in some one else’s’ home. This particular Sunday afternoon I remember wincing as one of the players got totally creamed (which is one of the reasons I am not such a big football fan—I mean, why would anyone want to do that on purpose, or risk serious head injury) well; this poor chap was lying down not moving. Out came the medics while everyone was standing around. Meanwhile they showed the instant replay over about four or five times with the commentators saying – yup you can see him getting his neck broken right here – they would pause the video tape and then they circled it with one of those white crayons.
Well eventually the stretcher came on the field and eventually they hauled him off to the thunderous applause of the people in the stands. During the second and third quarters they would show the people on the sidelines working on this poor guy and, of course, for those who tuned in late they would repeat the footage where he got creamed — complete with white maker. By the forth quarter he was up and walking. There was about eight to ten minutes left to play in the fourth quarter and — you guessed it—they sent him back in to play. What got me was the sportscaster’s comment. He said something like this, “ And here comes Bull- Dog Bruzer back in the game –listen to that crowd roar as he takes his place in the huddle – it is obvious to everyone he’s playing hurt!”
The image of “playing hurt” got to me, and still gets to me as there are many of us playing hurt today. All of us have difficult situations to fce in our lives. We’re all playing hurt in some way. I think it’s important to recoginize that, but also through it all God is with us.