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…”
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…”?
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[UPDATE – interview on the TODAY show]