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redemption story

Stories of redemption and rescue are all around us…

Maybe you’ve seen the video of Ted Williams, a 53 year old homeless man in Columbus, Ohio who is quickly becoming known as “the man with the golden voice.”

Williams got started in radio in his late teens and enjoyed a good career for a number of years.  He says alcohol had always been part of his life, but he began to drink more heavily, and to use cocaine and smoke crack.  In 1993, the bottom fell out – and a downward spiral eventually cost him his job and his family.  Williams became virtually unemployable, and lost his home.  For the last 10 years or so, he has lived in homeless shelters and on the streets.

2 years ago, Williams entered recovery and got clean.  He made a cardboard sign that said, in part, “I have a God given gift of voice…”  He began to acknowledge God and to thank him for guidance and the protection of his voice.  He prayed that someone would hear him and offer him a job.

A few days ago, a reporter from the local paper videotaped Williams and posted the video on YouTube – and the rest, as they say, is history… The video went viral, and then the offers to appear on radio programs begin to pour in.  He has appeared on the CBS Early Show and NBC’s Today – and he has been offered a job with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I watched him this morning on Today. Williams seems to be the real deal.  He’s genuinely astonished and grateful for what has happened – his humility almost makes you feel uncomfortable.  He even seems too humble to call himself a Christian.  Williams told Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira that he didn’t want to say that he was going around claiming to be born again, but he thanked the Lord everyday of his life for his recovery, and acknowledged God as the provider of all that has happened to him the last few days.

I wish Ted Williams well – and pray for the healing to continue in his life.

One more thing – Yes, Ted Williams has had a new door of opportunity open for him as a result of something that happened just days ago – but his is not a “Cinderella story” or an “overnight success.”  Williams has walked through the dark… He has struggled, and lost much along the way. But he has walked on, maintained faith in God – and while he still has a long way to go, he has a fresh start, a new perspective and an appreciation of life because of the struggle.

Rick Warren recently said, “The tide goes out, but it always comes back in. Don’t you dare let go.” Whatever your struggle – hang on, walk on, trust God to bring you through.  Resistance builds strength – and you are not alone.

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