Thursday, February 14, 2013

Michael Oher's "Impossibly Happy Ending"—How One Person with God's Love Can Change a Life

"Everyone has a blind side, but a loving heart always sees a path toward true charity." –Leigh Ann Tuohy

Most of us have seen the award-winning, inspirational movie "The Blind Side," which tells the real-life story of how the Tuohy family took in and eventually adopted Michael Oher, giving him a living and educational opportunity he likely would never have otherwise had.

Michael and Leigh Ann TuohyOn February 3rd, an amazing chapter (ABC News Host Diane Sawyer called it an "impossibly happy ending") was added to Michael's tale—winning the Super Bowl. (Photo: ABC News) 

Wearing number 74 on his Jersey, Michael was an integral part of the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line, as the team worked toward that coveted February finish of the NFL season.

But what strikes me the most about Michael's testimony is that it began with one person's heart to look beyond the comforts of her own life, to someone who had none.

What if Leigh Ann Tuohy and her family had kept driving that day, right past Michael instead of making room for him in their car—and in their lives?

Of that moment Leigh Ann says, "It was nothing and everything. It was just one of those things that you should do."

What a difference one person with a heart of love can make!

Tuohy family Sometimes you get to see that difference (like when the one to whom you've given opportunity brings home a Super Bowl ring); sometimes you just hope and trust that you have made one. (Photo: Tuohy family) 

If we are honest with ourselves, we can probably remember a time when we've felt prompted to step out in faith, and give a little of the love and compassion we've known to someone else in some way—maybe to someone we don't even know.

Those can be priceless moments or missed opportunities—it's up to us.

The Lord may move on our hearts but—with the exception of Phillip's "Holy Spirit ride" in the Book of Acts—it's not very often that He will also move our feet—we've got to step out in willingness.

Because of their experience in reaching out to Michael Oher, the Tuohy Family have created the "Tuohy Family Foundation: Making It Happen." It exists to: "live and share our commitment to faith, family, and others, while opening doors to promote awareness, provide hope, and improve the standard of living and quality of life for all the children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks of our society."

It all began with one moment's decision to stop and make a difference to someone else.

As Leigh Ann says, "Everyone has a blind side, but a loving heart always sees a path toward true charity."

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