I was as shocked as most of America when I saw rescue personnel giving CPR to Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin on January 2nd. An uneasy feeling was in my stomach for the rest of the evening. I prayed for him... many, many times over the next few days.
What did we learn about America's response to what happened to Hamlin? Here's what I noticed...
1) America cares. Hamlin was the biggest story in America for a few days. We learned that Hamlin had a charity to give toys to kids. He asked for $2500 when he started it. Well, people found out about it, and the last I heard, it had well over $8 million!
2) Lots of people were saying, "Pray for Damar." It's very common to hear people say that they are sending "thoughts and prayers" to someone, and I heard that several times, but overwhelmingly, I heard that people were praying for him or sending prayers up for him. A lot of these people were sports figures that I never thought I would hear the word "prayer" come from their mouths. The word "thoughts" was not mentioned very much. I was thrilled over this! First, thoughts are not going to help Damar at all. If you are sending thoughts to Damar, you might as well go to sleep and forget about it. However, if you sincerely pray to God for Damar, that can and does have an impact. It has a HUGE impact! I cannot pretend to know God's will on everything. But, I have to think God was not going to ignore the millions of prayers that were said for Damar Hamlin. Look at him now! He's gone from basically being a dead man to being in stable condition and well enough to be moved from Cincinnati to Buffalo. Never, ever underestimate the power of prayer!
3) Some people just don't get it. Let's take Mike Freeman of USA Today for example. On January 5th Freeman was attempting to give an uplifting story about Hamlin surviving. But, he blew it. He said, "Doctors say he is improving dramatically and some believe that's because of God. Or prayers. Others, like me, believe it is about energy." Energy? Energy? Really? That just goes along with a lot of other trash he writes. Freeman needs to do what many, many atheists have done. He needs to research it thoroughly. Study the miracles that have happened. Study the true historical accounts of Jesus' life. Then, see if he doesn't come to the conclusion that so many former atheists, like C. S. Lewis, Andrew Klaven and Allan Sandage, have come to, and that is God most certainly does exist. It is sheer idiocy for anyone, after thoroughly studying it, to not recognize that praying to the God of the universe is what makes a difference. What Freeman's comment tells me is that he is not saved. Even though he would have no appreciation for it, we need to pray for him... and boycott his articles.
America has been heading down a road farther and farther from God and Jesus Christ. That's sad. But, overall, the Damar Hamlin incident has drawn us just a little closer to God as a nation. At least that's my feeling and hope! So, let's do what Damar himself asked... Keep praying for him!
May God always be your number 1 draft pick!