I have been regularly grumpy about the disturbing immorality of far too many pro athletes and the perplexing choice our culture makes to virtually idolize many of them. Just the other day we heard more revelations of some of baseball's stars cheating with performance enhancing drugs.
Still, there are glimmers of light, a reminder that rich guys playing games can be decent human beings and actually make a difference in the world.
One of those individuals is R.A. Dickey, one of the newest Toronto Blue Jays. Last year's NL Cy Young Award winner Dickey will make an obscene amount of money, but not an obscene, obscene amount -- did you realize there is a difference?
Dickey is interesting because he is educated and thoughtful and pleasantly self-deprecating. He has overcome childhood abuse as well as other adversity and he has written a book about it.
Recently he went to India as part of his support for a project to help young women caught in the sex trade. According to the Toronto Star:
After witnessing first hand the plight of women and girls forced into India’s sex trade in the slums of Mumbai, Dickey says he found desperation and darkness, but also hope.
“The hope really lies in that paradigm where you walk among them,” he said. “You walk among them and build relationships.” The Blue Jays' 38-year-old knuckleballer spoke Tuesday from Mumbai, where he has spent the last week working with Bombay Teen Challenge, a Christian charity that fights child sex trafficking in India.“There are the lives that just don’t have a voice,” he said. “. . . What we’re trying to do here is give them a voice and a hope.”
Last year Dickey raised more than $100,000 for the project, money which was used to finance a new medical clinic.
My thought is that even if he is a bust as a Jays pitcher (let's pray he won't be!) he is an impressive human being, attempting to live out his Christian faith with justice. Now here is a role model.
Read about dogs as pastors on today's Groundling blog. It's only a click away!