Sunday, January 31, 2010

Charitable Donation

I'm going to work this evening on getting my tax stuff sent to Larry Roder, my brother-in-Christ and ex-IRS accountant, who does what I am too inept to try. Most of what I have to put together are my tax deductible gifts. You want to learn about a wonderful charitable donation? Read on, from March 1, 2007.

I can't stand the Dallas Cowboys. It goes back to college days. One of my friends, Gary Beck, was from Dallas and was firmly convinced the only reason the Cowboys ever lost was due to an NFL conspiracy. It became very easy to root against America's Team. That hard line stance melted today as I was reading the ESPN website. A story came over the wires about former Cowboy teammates, Ron Springs and Everson Walls. The duo played together for four seasons in the early 1980's, establishing a friendship that would spiral outward to include their spouses and kids. After retirement, the two remained close, to the point of being named godfathers to the other's children. More than fifteen years ago, Springs was diagnosed with diabetes and has digressed steadily, in spite of thrice-weekly dialysis. He has lost the functional use of one hand and has endured the amputation of a foot and the removal of toes on the other. In dire need of a kidney transplant, Springs turned to relatives, including his son, who plays for the Washington Redskins, and a niece, but concerns removed those kin from the donor list. Almost offhandedly, Walls offered to be tested.... and came up a match. The long term friendship between the former athletes was cemented yesterday as Everson Walls' kidney was transplanted into Ron Springs' failing body. Assuming no rejection, Springs is expected to regain motion in his hand and walk on his own once more, discarding the wheelchair that has become his transport. They are the first retired American athletes to participate in an organ swap.

Ironically, the player perceived by many to be the worst current teammate also plays for the Cowboys. Terrel Owens, fairly or not, has been labeled a team killer and is well-known for poisoning relationships with former quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Donovan McNabb. Maybe T.O. could use some mentoring from Walls and Springs in regards to loyalty and camaraderie. I've noticed with my own players that it is easier for them to swallow physical play from an opponent in a game than from a teammate/classmate in a practice session. Maybe we expect it from the opposition but subconsciously believe those wearing the same jerseys as we do should cut us some slack. Jesus dealt with discord in the ranks of his apostles. James and John wanted to elevate their standing over the other ten. Friction probably arose between the tax collector, Matthew, and his eleven co-workers who hated tax collectors. It is possible that Judas was the only one of the Twelve not from Galilee, leaving him on the outside looking in in terms of accent and cultural literacy. Still, the Savior did just fine with the dozen he hand-picked after a prayer session. Minus Judas, they bonded through suffering and setbacks and became the mightiest evangelistic force in history. Everson Walls risked his life/lifestyle giving up his kidney to re-energize the life of his teammate and friend, Ron Springs. Would Bartholomew have sacrificed an organ for Phillip or would James, son of Alphaeus, given his kidney to James, son of Zebedee? In my book, there is not a shred of doubt. That's what a teammate does, even a retired teammate whose vantage point is now on the sidelines.
Applicable quote of the day:
"It's a big deal. You've got to understand now, this man is giving me something to make my life better. I would tell everybody in America, be a donor. The ultimate donor was Jesus Christ- he gave his whole life for us."
Ron Springs (on receiving a kidney from Everson Walls)
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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