Hope “for one of the least”

The pandemic, forest fires, and racial unrest seem to be consuming us and affects us in many ways. At times it is as if we live under a constant sky of grey (in the West the sky is grey from the fires) but we do not suffer the clinical disease of Depression; it is just that the situation we now live under is depressing. We suffer “doom and gloom.” A bit of good news and sunshine improves our mood and outlook, and today’s paper brought a bright ray of light.

I have no idea what it must be like to be a well-known professional athlete. I cannot imagine their salaries, fame, and lives: The adoring fans, the gobs of money, the temptations, the hard work, the groveling coaches from middle school through college, and more. While I have no reference for these parts of their live, I know from experience one thing about their lives: The sound of the bottom when one of them hits it. And there are too many documented stories of the sad rise and fall of a boy or girl who is gifted with certain skills in athletics.

When the pandemic first washed over us, I read an article about this man, Mark Cuban, who owned a professional basketball team. While I had never heard of him, I found as many articles as I  could to read about his “reaching out” to all of the workers in his arena to pay them for lost revenue during the pandemic. Now, today, he reaches out again to a human being in need. Mr. Cuban hears that an ex-NBA star is homeless. He arranges to meet him at a gas station in Dallas. Cuban, a wealthy man, does not send someone to pick up the downtrodden basketball player, but drives himself. Yes, he has someone filming the event, but he, Mark Cuban, is there. Involved. And helping to rescue a life that has been shattered because of bipolar disease. Sure, the man could shoot three-pointers all day long, but he suffered from an insidious disease that could only stay masked so long.

Homeless. Standing on the street with a cardboard sign. No relationship with family. Embarrassed by his fall. But another heard of his trouble and worked to meet and bring him in for help. Mark Cuban did that. And his riches do not, in my mind, matter. What Mark Cuban did was an act done “for one of the least”. That is righteous and a ray of sunshine through these cloudy days.

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