Modern Day Good Samaritan

Sterling Sharpe is a ” MODERN DAY GOOD SAMARITAN!” Several years ago Sterling was in charge of introducing his brother, Shannon, when Shannon was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. I can remember being in Hilton Head, SC, at the State Am planning our evening around watching this event on television. The speech that Sterling gave was everything and more than we expected. It is a speech you should Google because sharing it, I just couldn’t do it justice. I have watched it more than a few times just to glean and appreciate where the Sharpe brothers came from and how their lives were shaped. How they grew up was much different from how Bill and I or our kids grew up.

We have had the true blessing of knowing Sterling personally for more than 30 years. Our relationship with Sterling came through my husband, Bill, who played football with Sterling at the University of South Carolina. The friendship has grown deep through the relationship that our children have built with Sterling through golf, especially our daughter, Collins.

As our children were growing up, all three would go to the golf course for long days of practice and play. Our boys had many friends who played golf, so a foursome was always readily available even at the age of 9 and 10, especially with their closest friends, Will and JB. Not so for Collins, in fact there were no girls even close to her age at our club who played the game or stayed for the long hours that Collins would put in. Until Collins developed her game, learned how to keep up, and play fast she was never included in the boys’ foursomes.

Sterling became Collins playing partner. I will never forget Collins being around the age of 9 and calling me from Spring Valley to tell me that she played 18 holes with Sterling. Sterling had witnessed Collins playing by herself many times while the boys played a foursome in front of her. One hot, muggy day he picked her up to play 18. Not only did she have a blast and feel extremely loved and encouraged, but she got to ride while the boys walked. It was 100 degrees outside on that particular day.

A friendship/mentoring relationship was born that day. Most people know Sterling for all the records he broke while playing for the Green Bay Packers. But I have gained such a fondness for a huge, smart, kind, successful African-American man, and not to mention he earned not one, but two degrees from the University of South Carolina. He not only took my daughter to play golf on hot days, but developed a strong relationship of caring, giving advice, LISTENING, and keeping up with Collins for 10 years now. Collins truly considers him a best friend and he has proven to be just that!

In the last 2 years since Collins has been at UGA, his friendship and mentoring has been vitally important to Collins as she has had to navigate some pretty difficult circumstances. No matter what NFL game he is flying out to commentate, he is readily available and accessible to Collins. The point here is this, Sterling is a very busy and popular guy. He has a beautiful wife and daughter of his own, and his work requires him to travel constantly . But he has MADE the time to mentor and listen and give STRONG, SOUND advice and spend time with Collins.

Sterling Sharpe is a modern day GOOD SAMARITAN. Allow me to tell the story of the Bible’s account of a good Samaritan. When Jesus was confronted by the experts in the law, he was asked what should we do to inherit eternal life and Jesus replied in Luke 10:27, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” He goes on to tell the story of a wounded man left to die on the side of the road after being beaten up by robbers. A priest, and then a Levite, both going from Jerusalem to Jericho passed by, ignored the wounded man, and passed by on the other side. Next came a Samaritan man who saw the wounded man on the side of the road. He took “Pity” on him. He bandaged his wounds and cared for him. He put him on his donkey and took him to an inn, paid for his care and kept going, only to say he would come back and check on him and pay all other expenses.

This is Sterling Sharpe, a modern day Samaritan. In Biblical times the Samaritans were hated by the Jews. They would not have been seen as the hero in a story. It was not the ending they expected to hear from Jesus. Unfortunately, today is not much different sometimes. In the South it seems there is still some stigmatism associated with blacks and whites associating in certain settings. To others it may seem odd that this big guy would befriend such a small girl. Raised eyebrows. A Black man mentoring a young white girl.

Sterling took pity on Collins when she was 9 and put her in his golf cart. He encouraged her and cared for her. He checked on her many times. Recently, when Collins was wounded and “left for dead emotionally,” he picked her up, bandaged her wounds, and put her on his big strong shoulders. He has literally cared for her to the extent of using his experience in broadcast journalism, which is Collin’s major in college, and taken her to “New Heights!!” Sterling has loved her like his own daughter. Loved his neighbor as himself.

Point being, we all have the opportunity to be a “Good Samaritan”. Do not let your busy lifestyle or skin color or status stop you from living out Luke 10:27! PRAISING GOD TODAY FOR MODERN DAY “GOOD SAMARITANS!”

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