Damar Hamlin Prayer

What Really Matters

I had already gorged on football, so the Monday night game wasn’t really a big deal to me. . .until it BECAME a big deal. Two top-contending teams were playing for playoff rankings and a hope of a trip to the Super Bowl in February. The Bills and the Bengals were already in the fight when the Bills’ safety, Damar Hamlin, made a tackle. I have seen the replay several times, and it seemed like a normal, aggressive tackle. But when Hamlin stood up from the tackle he had made, he took two steps back and collapsed.

Trainers and coaches moved with a unique urgency, fear written on every face. Some ran from Hamlin’s side to get more help. One knelt to start chest compressions. I have been watching football since I was a preschooler, but I can’t remember seeing that kind of reaction to an injury. It was frantic, all-encompassing, and it staggered everyone watching. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, and suddenly the game disappeared from the attention of most who were on the field, on the sidelines, or in the broadcast booth. A human life hanging in the balance eclipsed any thought of continuing the game.

I have experienced a few moments like this one. Something tragic happens, and that tragedy produces crisp clarity about what really matters. In an instant, things that mattered moments ago don’t seem to matter anymore. Your boss’s opinion, your dispute with your neighbor, your car or house or calendar–those stresses become nothing in the face of a health scare, a terminal diagnosis, a missing child, an unconscious spouse, or a teammate undergoing chest compressions just a few feet away.

All those aggressive, highly adrenalized competitors became BROTHERS in an instant. Tears, shock, fear, and hope brought them together on bended knees and agonizing prayer for Damar Hamlin. They were desperate. And after the game was postponed, athletes from the Bengals made their way to the Bills’ locker room to embrace, to shed tears together, and to pray some more.

Friends, don’t wait for tragedy to push you to your knees and decide what really matters. With a fresh hope, with a ready heart, decide today what matters most. And allow the Comforter in trouble become your LEADER in LIFE.

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