1..2..oh he kicks out! Unbelievable. These two have been at it for some time! What a match! This will go down in history as one of the best KWWF matches in history. Matt swings him against the ropes, but Wes ducks underneath the clothesline and takes rolls him up in a small package. 1..2..3!!! We have a new champion! Wes Howard is the new KWWF champion!!
That’s one of my fondest memories of my childhood. My brother, Matt, and I had an imaginary wrestling federation. We called it the K.W.W.F. The Kids Word Wrestling Federation. My brother is 5 years older than me and so, he was ALWAYS champion. ALWAYS. His reign was years as Heavyweight Champion. Then one day, he let me win. He let me become champion and I will never forget it.
I choose to remember that. Or the time that my brother stayed up all night with me waiting for Santa to come even though he knew the truth. “Let’s go check again Wes! Maybe he has come now!” When he finally did, I ran to wake up my parents. It was 3AM. They told me to go back to bed. We didn’t. We watched wrestling videos all morning until they woke up.
I don’t want to remember the time that my brother stole my XBox and pawned it for drug money. The time that I watched my dad and him fist fight. The time I cried my eyes out at his first rehab graduation. When he shot cocaine in the wrong place on Christmas Eve and was in the hospital the entire holiday. The countless number of rehabs or that my parents have been drained emotionally, physically and monetarily by him over the last 15 years.
At some point, I changed the way I looked at my brother. I let the bad memories become prevalent and over time I began to think of him as a hopeless addict instead of my brother who needs help and deserves help. I was convicted by a message that I wrote when the question was asked, “Do you see people the way Jesus sees them?”
How would I get up and preach this message and ask that question and not look at my brother the way Jesus sees him? Someone who needs hope and the love of a Savior. My parents had never given up on him. Why did I?
So I called him. Every day. For the first 2 weeks, I never got an answer. Just couldn’t catch him at the right time and a random number is not one you answer when you are living the lifestyle he lives. Then, one day I was in traffic and was very tempted to get angry about the next hour I would waste sitting in it. Instead, I decided to “choose joy” and started thinking of a way I could use this time to glorify God.
So I called again and I knew he would answer. And he did. We got to talk for 35 minutes about everything. It was awesome and I got the opportunity to finally tell him that I believe in his story and that it’s not over. I got to tell him that I love him and pray for him everyday. Most importantly, I started to remember him for the right reasons and view him as someone who needs this love and hope.
No one is too far gone for the love of Christ. And if we are the vessel for that hope, no one is too far for us to continue loving.