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Nuggets from Ted
Lost and Found
Go ahead, salivate at the good fortune of Ted Williams and his bagloads of job offers, with no less than a major movie contract with Jack Nicholson in it. Of course there will be books as well. Well, good for Mr Williams! I wonder what his spitters and oppressors are now thinking? But this is far beyond Ted's vindication and his getting his life back. I think i am about to preach. Who say's God is sleeping on the job? You may not agree with me, but, i'm smiling because i can't help but think that He just got media working for Him, big time! Who say's God can't use even the most hardened in high places for His purpose? But, less we get lost in the hooplahs, better we all settle down so we can decipher the 'real score' from the Unseen Hand. After all, there are millions out there, like Ted, dejected, friendless, fatherless, with no help in sight. Ours is a sick world, and everyone is in dire need of rescue, a lifeline. This Ted thing is a God thing. It's about mercy and love made manifest in every searching soul. It's God telling the world, each one of us matters.
Perhaps the best-known hymn describing the parable of the Lost Sheep is "The Ninety and Nine" by Elizabeth C. Clephane (1868), which goes like this:
There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away,
Far off from the gates of gold.
Away on the mountains wild and bare.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Away from the tender Shepherd’s care
Well, now we know, there is Ted, once lost, and now is found.
I'm not just a hopeless romantic, i am a believer. I believe goodness still thrives among us, no matter that bad, or evil get's coverage and sensationalized. I believe God speaks as He pleases, and sometimes, it can be in the form of a phenomena, some world worthy news, a miracle, a loud boom or a steel punch, delivered to knock man's unbelief and arrogance. There is no God? Not according to Ted.
Millions of us cheered and lapped up the rise of one homeless man, from the pit of shame to the 'palace' of promotion. Why, who wouldn't want to be Cinderella boy, golden voice Ted Williams, whose viral youtube video catapulted him as an overnight celebrity? What a beautiful story indeed! But, who of us want to travel the road, the years of hopelessness that Ted took before his amazing twist of fate? What lessons can we pluck from his journey?
Life is too precious to waste away with bad choices, like taking drugs, as admitted by Ted. You don't just hurt yourself, you hurt those you love.
But, there is always redemption. Life isn't over till it's over. No matter the gravity of our fall, there is always hope, a new beginning, healing and restoration. I am particularly curious when exactly Ted got cleaned up, drugged free and when he got God into his life. Write your book Ted!
You can't judge people just because they are down. The homeless among us are treated like lepers during Bible days. They were rejects, diseased and left to die. Ted was dirt poor, who had to beg. He was scorned, insulted by people he met. Who understood the depth of his guilt, and loneliness? What was it like, night after night, to sleep in a makeshift bed, hard ground. But, Divine purpose was and is at work, and the rest is history. The moral of the story is, be very very careful that we judge not. The person you oppress and despise may be the person, whose success you may end up envying.
Be compassionate, and help somone. Make a difference. It is in giving you recieve. Consider Doral Chenoweth, the 47-year-old web producer for the Columbus Dispatch who extended help and filmed Williams. He had stopped to hand Ted a few dollars, but had no clue he had found gold. In fact, he had doubts about the video, that it was awkward and that the clip was too long. He sat on the footage for weeks. Then, voila! He recounts, "some guy calls me out of the blue and says, ‘Your video is about to go viral.’ By Tuesday night, it was skyrocketing. And Wednesday was just a media frenzy".
Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom, to find the Rock of hope and of all ages. Adversity is ground for miracles. This is something i understand personally. I know what it''s like to lose everything.
We are all given gifts and talents to be used for good. If we don't use them, we waste them, like we waste precious gems. Listen to Ted thank God profusely, that despite his abuse, his voice remained intact. It is this very gift that has opened doors of opportunity for him.
Miracles happen, whether you believe it or not. You cannot tell people who have experienced theirs otherwise. It is Albert Einstein who said, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
Lastly, never underestimate a mother's faith and the power of prayer. Ted's reunion with his 92 year old mother surely tugged at our very hearts. We were moved to tears, glued to the most heartwarming scene, as son cried "Hi mommy, hi mommy...", while he rushed to his mom's embrace. Such a precious 'act of God'!
I am grateful for my mother in law who prayed for her son, my husband. Although she is gone, her investment of pleadings has beautifully impacted my life and marriage. I think about the years of shame and agony Ted put his mother (and siblings) through. What was it like for her to wonder, year after year, the whereabouts and every possible harm, the flesh of her flesh, was subjected to. Did she ever want to give up and resign herself that heaven may have shut it's doors on her? How many mothers cry for their sons, hoping against hope, to see them return, changed and whole. Well we all witnessed prodigal Ted's come back. I ask, is there anything too hard for God?
I share this endearing poem...
A Mother’s heart is open
When a wayward child returns;
Forgiveness shows a part of love
For which her child now yearns.
Mothers never do give up
On any straying child
But teach them courage as they grow,
Remaining meek and mild.
A hug is always ready,
Waiting at the door
When the grown child comes home
To mother’s arms once more.
God bless you today dear mother
For the trials you’ve been through
To raise your baby, now full grown
May God the Father honor you.
Luke 15:3-7 "Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance."