The solution to racial tension will never be protests, legislation, movements, or education. It’s the ancient command of Christ to love: Love one another, love your neighbor as yourself. You remember Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo, the star backs for the Chicago Bears? One was black; the other was white. They created a sensation back in the days because they were the first black and white men to room together in professional football.
Reporters asked them about it from time to time and their responses were light-hearted and displayed deep affection. One reporter asked, "Do you mind living with him?" and Piccolo answered, "As long as he doesn't use the bathroom." Or, "What do you two talk about?" Sayers response was, "Oh, just the usual racist stuff." What was abundantly clear was that they were very close.
Eventually Brian Piccolo was stricken with cancer and spent more time in the hospital than on the football field. At one point they made plans planned to go with their wives to the Professional Football Writers Association banquet in New York where Sayers was to be presented the George S. Halas Award for exemplifying courage, drive, and determination in recovering from a devastating knee injury. Piccolo, however, suffered a relapse and was unable to attend.
When the moment came for Gayle Sayers to receive the award he stepped to the microphone and with the tears rolling down his face said, "You flatter me by giving me this award. But I tell you here and now that I accept it for Brian Piccolo. Brian Piccolo is the man of courage who should receive the award. I love Brian Piccolo, and I'd like you to love him, too. Tonight when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him."
A strong man saying of another strong man, "I love Brian," and weeping as he said it, is the picture of strength and the kind of love that transcends all barriers.
May God grant us a hundred thousand examples of that. Then, and only then, will we begin to see what true racial reconciliation looks like.
Pastor Wayne Muri
Pastor Wayne Muri is a former pastor of Dale Byers who is from Vigo/Fountain County area and has preached in Berean Baptist and writes often for Larry Lilly’s Journal.
A lot to think about in Pastor Muri’s article.