The sport’s greatest players capture the imagination and attention of a vast segment of the population. Tiger Woods has been no exception. Though I like to keep everything in life in the proper order of priorities, I have to admit that I too get caught up in the flow when a team or individual sets themselves out from the crowd by feats of greatness. That is why it is soooo tough when someone we all admire is found to be less than we expected.
Recently, out of the blue, I was struck by the thought of Tiger Woods meeting Jesus. Tiger has been mocked, maligned and analyzed by the sports world, the media, comedians, and the religious world. There was a throng of people surrounding him. The crowd wasn’t really present but they were representing all the world looking on at Tiger’s life, judging, talking and criticizing. What would happen if he were to meet Jesus, the Son of God, who is the very image of God himself? I could see the encounter in my mind’s eye. The greatest man to ever walk this earth, so humble and yet so strong, His eyes full of compassion and love and His arms wide open, reaching out to Tiger.
Then I saw Tiger, though he doesn’t claim to know Jesus, in that moment Tiger knew he was in the presence of his creator and he stood truly broken and humbled. His head drops as he feels truly broken and ashamed. There is some fear in his heart of what will become of this encounter. What does God have to say to him? Will he express the vehement hatred that has come from bitter women who want to see him pay for what he has done to his family? Will he simply look at him with disgust like many well meaning religious people have done?
Then Jesus looks at the throng and spoke. He said, I call for the person who has never sinned to come forward and proclaim the sentencing and execute the judgment on this man. The throng that was too big to count, larger than any sport’s gallery quickly made their exit. The only one left there with Tiger was the Lion of the Tribe of Judah – the only one who is worthy of praise. His eyes, still full of compassion and love, now held a tear in the corner. He spoke to Tiger, “I have not come to condemn you but to offer you life, life more abundant and free.” I saw Jesus embracing Tiger who was sobbing uncontrollably. He felt the shame lifting, the power of sin that controlled him vanishing, the peace that has so long eluded him beginning to settle in. And he felt like he was finally home.
So many times, as we in our ministry have been ministering to broken lives I have seen God set the prisoner free, heal those who are sick and restore broken marriages and lives. I have prayed often for Tiger and his family. What has become a tabloid free for all is in God’s eyes something sacred that He alone has the power to restore.
I close with this prayer. Lord, I pray that Tiger Woods and Erin his wife will both come to know you, be healed by you and be restored in every way. You have raised the dead, given sight to the blind, restored many who are broken in many and various ways. What seems impossible with man is easy for you. Impossible is nothing, to You. I pray for all the other families in our nation and world that are torn apart by sin. Lord we need You.