Recently, I have been focusing my Daily Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In the midst of this parable, a father demonstrates his extraordinary love for his son by running to embrace him. In the last two decades, whenever I read about the father’s race, I remember something that happened in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona. It was one of the most moving events I have ever witnessed in an athletic competition.
It happened in a semifinal heat of the 400 meter race. Derek Redmond of Great Britain began strong, looking as if he would do well enough to make the finals. Indeed, he had a reasonable chance for a medal. But, on the backstretch of the race, all of a sudden Redmond pulled up lame, apparently having injured his right hamstring. Though writhing in pain and completely out of the race, his Olympic hopes dashed, Redmond nevertheless began hopping and limping toward the finish line. No matter how slow his time, he was going to complete his race. It was a heart-wrenching scene, as Redmond’s face revealed his extreme physical and emotional pain.
Meanwhile, at the top of the stadium, Derek Redmond’s father, Jim, saw what had happened to his son. So he began running down toward the track, dodging barriers and officials who tried to keep him away from the field, where he had no permission to be. Yet, Jim Redmond had one goal: to get to his boy. So he ran and pushed and jumped until he got to Derek. He threw his arms around his son and helped him cross the finish line.
My words cannot do justice to this event. Thanks to YouTube, you can see it online.