I don’t watch much television, and it’s not often that I stay with a program from beginning to end. But last Thursday night’s "Primetime Live" caught and held my attention.
The show was about journalist Jeanette Walls, tenor Ronan Tynan, and professor Temple Grandin. Though their stories are very different, they share a common element. Each person overcame the kinds of disadvantages that might have prevented not only success, but even survival.
Walls, a successful reporter and author of a recently-published memoir, grew up in a poverty-stricken and abusive family.
Tynan, a medical doctor, terrific athlete, and one of the three "Irish Tenors" is a double amputee; he lost both legs at age four.
Grandin, who earned a Ph.D., increased our understanding of animals, and single-handedly revolutionized the cattle industry, is autistic.
Naturally, their determination and achievements inspired me. Even more, I was moved to give thanks to the God who seems to specialize in showing mercy to the hopeless.
As expected, the program didn’t mention that everything good and perfect in our lives is a gift from God; that there’s nothing worth having that we didn’t receive. That part of human success stories is what we so rarely hear. And yet, that part is what makes the stories complete and true.
I believe that in this generation a pressing challenge--no, make that a great opportunity--for the church is to provide the divine perspective on what is good and wonderful.
The experience of joy always prompts the desire to send a Thank You. Being a Christian means wanting everyone to know the right address.