Champion… The word makes me think of sports and, my friends, sports is not my “thing”. I am not competitive by nature and certainly not athletic by any stretch of the imagination but I had a thought which would not give me peace.
If you run an internet search for “best champions of all time” several results for the same individual will appear. The number one hit, easy to be guessed - Muhammad Ali; his name is so synonymous with champion that I do not need to explain who he is. There are other iconic American champions; in racing, Dale Earnhardt Sr., In basketball, Shaquille O’Neal,; In baseball, the New York Yankees. In Olympic sports, Michael Phelps, swimming; Mary Lou Retton, gymnastics; the US Dream Team, Men’s Basketball 1992, US Hockey Team, Miracle on Ice 1980 – and now, the Chicago Cubs.
I am sure they all have a lot in common; drive, determination and self-discipline; someone who believed in them, pushed them, loved them… but that is not what I think of when I think of champion…
1.a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition, especially in sports.
synonyms: winner, titleholder, defending champion, gold medalist, titlist, ...
2.a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else
synonyms: advocate, proponent, promoter, supporter, defender, ...
I settle on the second definition; A person who fights or argues for a cause on behalf of someone else and then synonymous with that - being an advocate, a proponent, supporter, defender… My heart has always been drawn to being an advocate and a defender, it is who I am, it is in my DNA and I know I am not alone.
Can you guess what else all of these “champions” had in common?
All champions. All of them. The ones listed above and those not listed... All champions had to enter the ring or get in a race car. They had to step foot on the court, get on a balance beam, step out on the track, get in the pool and walk out to the diamond – they had to decide to join the fight.
It has to start somewhere, right? A spark, a flame, a belief in something more so that you sacrifice, train, exercise, get back up when you fall, keep going when you are told to quit, stand your ground when the way looks too tough… You aren’t a champion until you become a champion – it takes work and faith and perseverance. It takes a movement to get from here to there…
Champions dream, believe and achieve and even then, the work isn’t done… A champion then defends their title, record, belt, winnings… A champion never quits!
I entered the field… the pro-life field and it wasn’t something I went looking for. Who wants to be part of something so controversial, so politically-incorrect, so counter-culture? Who wants to be part of the angry mob of people holding bull-horns castigating women facing unplanned pregnancies as they head into a clinic to take care of their problem? I say, “Pro-Life found me” … as I witnessed “a new way” of doing things – I found Hands of Hope!
One program of Hands of Hope, BreakDown Tucson, is bringing a message of hope, life and freedom to students in our areas. Through the performing arts, a message is conveyed that empowers students to make healthy choices for their future while promoting the value of all human life.
Within the walls of the Hands of Hope pregnancy centers, from the moment a woman enters to confirm a suspected, possibly unwanted pregnancy, to the ultrasound room and beyond, there are people who know and understand grace. It is evident in everything they do; from the way they speak to the client to their encouragement and care. It’s meeting the client where she is and often, caring for her family, friends and sometimes, the father of the baby as well.
Even beyond that… beyond the education, beyond the care, beyond the decision… Hands of Hope offers a path towards healing. A safe place to come talk, be heard, and be loved without judgement… It is a place for healing.
At Hands of Hope, I found people who never picked up the bull-horn. That is because the truth, love, grace and kindness were enough regardless of outcome.
Anyone… anyone can be a champion… you just have to decide to get in the ring. To lay yourself down along with preconceived notions and join the fight… Become an advocate, a proponent, a supporter, a defender - For Life… for women, men and the unborn, for our youth, for recovery - for whole and complete healing.
I must ask you - what will you do?
One final thought… While looking for the greats - the best of the best, I came across this quote:
“In a fight it is not the best fighter who wins, it’s the fighter who fights the best.”
It all comes down to choosing getting in the ring, staying in the fight, fighting your best in order to be a champion for life.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- Hebrews 12:1-3
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