YOU have a God-given gift?!?

You approach an intersection where a disheveled homeless man with a wild mop of hair approaches your open window with a scrubby hand-scrawled sign on cardboard that says “I have a God-given gift…”

Yeah, right.

The sign says: “I have a God-given gift of a great voice.” So a TV reporter from Columbus, Ohio, rolls his window down, camera rolling, and asks the man to show off his gift. And out of the man’s mouth, across the stained teeth, comes a radio voice as rich and smooth as pure cream. Resonant. Beautiful. [Here’s the minute-and-a-half clip.]

The video of this encounter has gone viral on the internet. His name is Ted Williams. He was an addict for years but has been clean for the past two. Now he is being interviewed on radio stations, and is receiving job offers to use his voice for tens of thousands of dollars from radio and TV stations, advertisers, and a team of the National Basketball Association. And it’s all happened in a few days. Almost eight million people have so far watched the original video clip on YouTube.

What a great story.

It makes me think of this. There are tens of millions of people walking around with “a God-given gift” of voice–but they don’t understand it. They don’t appreciate that any human being who has experienced the grace and truth of the living God in Jesus Christ has a message and a voice that is far more impacting than a silky-smooth set of pipes. At least Ted Williams understood that his voice came from God, and said so on his cardboard sign (and now in one interview after another).

So, what if every one of us who know about God’s great rescue in Jesus, looked for one person this week, and had the boldness to say in some way: “I have a gift…”?

Do you have a comment about this story?

[UPDATE – interview on the TODAY show]

6 thoughts on “YOU have a God-given gift?!?”

  1. How amazing! God is a generous God who gives to every one some thing but it is up to us to discover what He has given and use it for His glory.

  2. God is Good all the time! I pray that with his “God given talent” and now with his 15 minutes of fame and money he gets…that God will still be with him and allow His Grace to guide & keep him on the right track and give back to those in need of help! Give back-help others that is what we are all called to do!! Give God the Glory!

  3. All of us do have a voice. We can quickly express ourselves with great confidence the wonderful attirbutes of our children, our grandchildren, our spouse, our hobby and countless other things. For some reason, we tend to become shy and reclusive when it comes to sharing our salvation story. It doesn’t have to be a great theological treatise; it just needs to be a simple proclamation that we have accepted the love of God into our lives. We don’t need to preach a sermon; we don’t need to “save” anyone; we just need to share the fact that Jesus loves us and we have accepted that love. Then live in a manner that reflects that we love HIM. Others will take notice!

  4. This is an amazing feel good story that I have been following for a few days now. The link below also provides a five minute interview after Mr. Williams was able to get a change of clothes. He is clearly a sincere man whose life is being transformed as only the power of Jesus can do for us. I trust Mr. Williams will have a new level of appreciation of the gift he was given and will never let go of it again. Best wishes Ted!!!

  5. Charlene DeGroot

    My husband had a stroke on 1/4/11 and lost his ability to speak completely but through prayer is regaining some of his abilities. I am convinced he will fully recover – can’t wait to hear what his “gift of voice” will tell me!

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