My speech was plain, not with a lot of eloquence or human persuasion, but the Holy Spirit’s power was in my words, showing those who heard them that the message was from God. 1 Corinthians 2
God who speaks worlds into being, teach me how to speak from my heart. Amen
This evening’s drop of hope is dedicated to the power of speech.
The NFL Draft is now under way, and the first pick has become a hometown hero for calling attention to something impacting so many families in this pandemic—hunger.
Even before food banks were overwhelmed by Americans desperate to feed their families Joe Burrow had used his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech to remind us there has always been hunger in America.
“Coming from southeast Ohio, it’s a very impoverished area,” the 23-year-old Burrow said on a New York stage in December. “The poverty rate is almost two times the national average, and there’s so many people there that don’t have a lot. I’m up here for all those kids in Athens and in Athens County that go home to not a lot of food on the table, hungry after school,” he added, telling those kids, “and you guys can be up here, too.”
The night of the ceremony the people in that community were paying attention. Will Drabold said Burrow’s mention of southeast Ohio struck him like a bolt of lightning. Will put the quote on Facebook and wrote, “Let’s honor Joey’s words and give money to the food pantry.” He didn’t think it would raise a thousand dollars.
But donations poured in from all over the country raising $650K—five years of ordinary income.
The food pantry director told newscaster Lester Holt: Joe has given a voice to this region and to its needs. I hope that this conversation will turn into something that will actually help us go out of business.
This story reminds me that it is not the artfulness of our words that moves people to compassionate action. Even complacent people will recognize the message of Christ when they hear it from a pure heart.
If you’re like me, you’re wondering: What is the message of Christ at the heart of me?
According to Joe Burrow’s example, it’s probably related to gratitude. He said, “I didn’t write it. I just went up there and started talking. I wanted to mention southeast Ohio because so many people had helped me from that area. Then it just kind of came to my mind that I could mention the struggles that area goes through.”
Joe’s dad recalls checking in with Joe before the ceremony. He found Joe writing some notes on a scrap of paper. But when his son received the award and started speaking, Dad could tell Joe was off script and speaking from his heart.
What are you grateful for NOW? What could you say about that?
Sniff-sniff; smile-smile; sleep well,