Forty-six years ago this week, a plane crash took the lives of the Marshall University football team. It was the greatest disaster in sports history. It left scars on a city, Huntington, West Virginia, that can be seen and felt to this day.
The crash and its aftermath were remembered in the 2006 movie, We Are Marshall.
After the crash, students convinced the administration not to cancel the football program. The school president didn’t know where to begin to start rebuilding, so he decided to hire a coach, but everyone turned him down.
Then one day he got a call from Jack Lengyel, played in the movie by Matthew McConaughey. President Dedmon went to see him, but it wasn’t much of a job interview, since no one else wanted the job. President Dedmon kept wondering what kind of person would take a job like this?
When he couldn’t stand it anymore, he asked Jack why he wanted the job.
The two men were sitting together on Jack’s front porch, watching Jack’s wife play with their three children in the front yard.
Jack said, “When I heard about what happened, the only thing I could think about was how much it would hurt if I was to lose the four of them [his family]. I just thought, maybe I can help.”
It wasn’t easy. Jack had to deal with all kinds of doubts and fears. But the point was this: The rebirth of the football team, and a city, began with the self-giving gift of one man.
In 2 Corinthians 9:12, Paul said, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
When you give away your time and resources, you not only meet the needs of people who are hurting, you’re increasing their faith. Paul says they will praise God because of you.
We only have new life because of the self-giving gift of one man, Jesus Christ.