I’ll be honest with this – I can’t help but have “sweaty eyes” when I watched Dennis Rodman’s Basketball Hall of Fame speech a while ago.
For some of you non-basketball fans, who do not know Rodman, he’s known during his prime in the NBA by the monicker, “the Worm”.
Rodman was a defensive and rebounding “demon” during his heydays. And he was able to excel so well in both aspects of the game despite the fact that he only stood 6 feet 7 inches. He did that while having to battle against bigger, bulkier and taller players in the painted area.
Rodman’s pro career was characterized by outlandish behavior – from introducing multi-colored hair, multiple piercings and tattooed body and arms while playing for the Chicago Bulls; engaged into professional wrestling part-time as well as wore a wedding dress in 1996 to promote his autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be.
Amid the weird behavior he displayed during his NBA career that started in 1986 with the Detroit Pistons, before ending in 2000 with the Dallas Mavericks, it is surprising for me to see this tough, former pro basketball player cry unabashedly while taking time to thank four important people, men in particular, who made a profound impact in his life – Phil Jackson, Jerry Buss, James Rich and Chuck Daly.
For someone, who grew up without a father, Rodman admitted he could have been anyone but a basketball player due to the difficult times he’s had just before he reached the NBA and during his 14-year pro career.
But thankfully, he had these four men, who, along the way in his NBA career, mentored him, cried with him and taught him how to live and how to be a man.
But through all the challenges he went through, here was this five-time NBA champion and seven-time rebounding king, pouring his hurts, emotional pains and sharing his mistakes before the audience that included some of the “who’s who” in basketball.
Like Rodman, we all shed a tear at one way or the other.
Some tears of joy, while others, tears of sadness, that of pain, frustration or disappointment.
Through all the emotional ups and downs of life, here’s what I’m reminded of: that there’s Someone, who could also relate to what we have gone through, or what we are going through in life today.
You may not know this, but Jesus also wept during his brief days here in earth.
John chapter 11 gave an account of Jesus weeping before sisters Martha and Mary, while the latter were grieving over the death of their brother Lazarus.
Jesus wept because He was demonstrating the kind of empathy Martha and Mary needed during that time.
Today, millions of people hurt physically, emotionally and spiritually.
People cry for various reasons.
In fact, you might be crying at this point, or you may have just cried a while ago due to a discouraging or disappointing situation.
But here’s the good news: the “Jesus wept” account reminds us that you and I are not alone in our daily battles in life.
Whatever you are going through today, you can shed your tears before Him in private and He won’t even reject you.
By entering into a relationship with God through His Son Jesus, you become a child of God.
And by becoming a child of God by your faith in Jesus, you can be assured of this – Isaiah 30:19, “How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you.”