The Right Response to Hurt

It’s been said that, “Hurting people Hurt people.”  Too often this ends up happening when people hurt.  However, I was reminded last week that it does not always have to happen that way.  As a family in our church at Calvary shared months ago that is still in the forefront of my mind, “Our response is our responsibility.”  Be encouraged through the reading of a modern day illustration of forgiveness that formed a relationship.

Several weeks ago, College football witnessed what many first saw as one of the most blatant surfaces of unsportsmanlike conduct as seen in a while.  It was discussed on Social Media, but many did not hear the whole story.  Read the following narrative as written through Athletes in Action from the perspective of the Chaplain of the Campus Minister at Wisconsin University: 

“The nation seemed to let out a collective sigh of relief last weekend. Football was back. After months of predictions, polls, and talking heads, we were treated to actual football games.

Twelve. Straight. Hours.

As a campus minister at the University of Wisconsin, I eagerly awaited the showdown with #5 LSU for most of the summer (as did every single resident of Wisconsin). My excitement in the final minute of the game was short lived. It is hard to explain the elation of seeing someone like D’cota Dixon come down with the interception and then have that feeling suddenly dissipate after the vicious hit he absorbed left him head down in the dirt.

In a recent interview with a local station, Dixon describes the event:

“I just remember that I got up and I was extremely excited, extremely happy. I was just going to celebrate with my team. I was running towards the sidelines, looking at the sidelines and running over in that direction with my teammates and I didn’t even see him and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. That was all there was to that. It was ok though, I don’t have any hard feelings.”

That’s all there was to that. If you saw the game live you may have observed that ESPN announcers seemed to downplay the event. Twitter was not about to let it go unnoticed. In fact, if it was up to the world of social media, Josh Boutte, the 6-5, 346 pound linemen that laid out Dixon, would never see the field again. However, while the rest of the world was either under reacting or overreacting, something beautiful took place that not many people know about.

“He actually called me and apologized, which no one knows about. All these people on social media who have said all of these harsh mean things like ‘he should be banned from college football’ things like that and you know it’s just kind of sad because whether he meant to or not, in that type of situation, when you are playing in a high intense game like that and in a moment like that, a lot of people don’t know what’s going on. They don’t understand the intensity and the emotion that is going on as a player. That’s why I was not upset at all about the hit.  He apologized, he told me he didn’t think that I was down. He sounded very concerned. He was asking about my head and everything else. We actually ended up praying together. I prayed for him.  We are friends now. I have his number and he has my number.”

Who knows what motives ultimately drove these men to have this moment, but I do know that their interaction together illustrates what the gospel looks like when lived out. Their dialogue produced the aroma of redemption in a sports context, a post-game discussion manifesting the refreshing life of forgiveness promised in Christ.

This is the beauty that sports can bring us. While the rest of the world is arguing over intentions and punishments, two men who understand the emotions of the game are able to connect, forgive, and move on.” – Athletes in Action Blog

I could not help but think of two great truths when reading this blog:

  1.  It is vital that as believers we treat one another as well as unbelievers with love and respect for the sake of the Kingdom.  Often times for believers, as emotions wear off and conviction settles in, we can return to those we hurt and reconcile broken relationships through repentance and forgiveness.  However, unfortunately for those looking in they do not get to see the end result and many make judgements of Christ based upon the action and reaction of “professing Christ Followers”.  The truth is what other see DOES MATTER.  We owe it to Christ as we carry His name to represent Him well.

  1. Another truth that was revealed is in this situation, it truly was a picture of the REAL FORGIVENESS.  One player caused another player injury and whether intentional or not, the basis of their relationship being formed was through repentance and forgiveness, which for anyone that saw the hit was not deserved.  Out of the forgiveness birthed a relationship that could not be formed any other way.  Thank you D’cota Dixon and Josh Boutte for the wonderful reminder that life is BIGGER THAN FOOTBALL and for using your platform TO SEND A MESSAGE BIGGER THAN YOURSELF.

    Join us this Sunday at Calvary as we launch continue the new series entitled, “FIRST THINGS FIRST.”  Todd Jennings will be speaking and I’m sure you will be blessed.  Please bring someone with you.


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