The top article in today’s Columbus Dispatch reports that Terrelle Pryor, star quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes, is done with college football. Pryor released this information yesterday in a statement via his attorney. Tim May, the author of the Dispatch article, notes that it is “unclear” whether or not Pryor will be eligible for the upcoming NFL supplemental draft. Pryor’s once-promising future now has a gigantic question mark superimposed on it.
Call me a sentimentalist or a bleeding heart, but when I saw Fred Squillante’s picture of Pryor on the story’s Web page, I felt sad for T.P. This young man has made mistakes that have cost him dearly. One can only hope that he does not follow in Maurice Clarett’s footsteps.
Has Pryor brought this trouble on himself? Sure. But one thing the pastoral ministry has taught me is that if we never loved people who didn’t play at least a part in their own suffering, not many people would “qualify” for our love.
Some have rightly criticized Rob Bell for extolling God’s mercy at the expense of His justice, but many of us as evangelicals have the opposite problem. We love to speak of personal responsibility, justice, and freedom. That’s good. Do we also speak of and exhibit Jesus’ love to those who don’t deserve it, just as we don’t deserve it (Matthew 5:43–47)?
I don’t know what uniform Pryor will be wearing the next time I see him long-stride past some helpless defensive end, but T.P. has bigger fish to fry than football. I sincerely hope he turns to the God who is merciful enough to let anyone who trusts in Jesus as Savior be part of His family.
I hope that those of us who follow Jesus will show His mercy, too.
—Beau StanleyFollow @beaustanley