Underdogs

I had been sorting through stacks of papers for six hours; it was now 1:00 in the morning. Twelve years of my son Jon’s educational tests, medical reports, teachers’ notes, and therapy summaries—once organized in chronological order—had become stacked in disarray on my study shelves over time. Reviewing twelve years of material is overwhelming for most of us; for caregivers it can also be painful.

The silent message between the lines is the repeated acknowledgement that in this world, different usually means less than . . . not fit for this world . . . an underdog for life.

Additionally, the ever-present load of lingering parental self-doubt and guilt hangs overhead. Sorting through it all is an essential earthly endeavor for our loved one’s care, yet the calm and quiet voice of Christ calls us to remember there are no underdogs in His economy.

(Photo by Teak Sato, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo by Teak Sato, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Who’s in the Who’s Who?

I’ve yet to find a growth chart, I.Q. test, reading test, or writing sample that qualifies a person as acceptable in God’s eyes. Jesus never pulled together a group of “experts” who sat around tables making decisions about whom to include in the “in-crowd”; the Pharisees had that job covered. The Pharisees, with puffed-up heads and proud souls, made pathetically hypocritical judgments about “who’s who.” And we know how Christ felt about that bunch.

However, Christ went about His business, simply revealing what it meant, and means, to advocate with love for one another . . . let’s say, how to root for the underdog.

That’s you and me.

By 2 AM, tears had fallen down my cheeks. I cried for my son and for all of us who try to fix what appears broken in some way. I wept for those who forget that we are all underdogs on this earth. I know my son is considered different. If I remember correctly, Jesus was also considered to be very different. And God’s Word tells us we are all unique . . . different from one another. He also tells us that we are broken, unable to qualify for eternity without His saving grace; therefore, we must have an advocate.

What kind of advocate are you, if I may be so bold?

  • Do “different” people bother you?
  • Do you look at others through some religious-like lens, assuming they are spiritual if they have enough right-sounding answers?
  • Do you heap loads of guilt on others if they admit failure, seek help for addictions, or simply cannot keep up with your quick mind?

Never forget: in this life, a functioning mind is a gift from God, not a right. This isn’t meant to point fingers but to awaken us all to a truth we so easily forget . . . we all are underdogs.

I tossed out a lot of paperwork that wasn’t necessary to keep in Jon’s files. Those papers didn’t matter. Perhaps it’s time to toss out some ideas or “measurements” about others. Let’s remember Paul’s encouragement to the Ephesians:

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace” (4:2–3 NLT).

Let Me Hear from You

Let’s talk about making changes. From one underdog to another . . . how about we work together!

Question: In what areas of life can you extend grace, promote peace, and live humbly with others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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