“The Blind Side” was a book and a movie about a young man named Michael Oher. Big Mike, as he was known, was born into poverty in a drug-riddled ghetto in Memphis. Sadly, he never knew his father, and worse, his mother was a drug addict, and not actively involved in Michael’s life. And so, for the better part of his youth, Michael Oher grew up basically parentless and homeless. He would carry a black garbage bag with all his belongings in it from one friend’s house to another friend’s house, as he bounced around from place to place.
Now, because of his size and tremendous athletic potential, Michael Oher wound up at a fancy private school, but for which he was very ill-equipped. By God’s grace, while he was there, he met the Tuohy family, -- Sean and Leigh-Anne, and their children, Collins and SJ. While “The Blind Side” mainly chronicles Michael Oher’s development and his eventual rise to college star and the NFL as an offensive lineman, the relationship he develops with the Tuohy family, who also eventually adopted him, plays a significant role in the story.
In fact, Sean Tuohy says, “Two words changed my life forever.” He says it was when he and his wife, Leigh Anne, were driving one cold, November night. They saw Michael walking down the road alone in the dark. Well, something didn’t look right, as they saw this high school boy out all by himself in the cold, without even a jacket! And, as they drove by him, Leigh Anne said two words which would change everybody’s life. She said to her husband, “Turn Around.” Those two words not only changed Michael Oher’s life, but as Sean says, “…changed my life forever,” as they welcomed Michael Oher into their home and into their hearts.
Friends, words matter, and Jesus Christ is THE Word! When this Word comes inside of us, it changes our lives forever. Look at how Jesus used words. He said to a young man, “Your sins are forgiven,” and a young man who hadn’t stood since birth got up and walked away. He said, “Your name will be called Peter,” and suddenly a destiny begins to take shape. He said, “Peace! Be still!” as he stretched out his hand to calm the raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, as well as calm the fears of the disciples in the boat.
During these days, there are a lot of words going back and forth, -- into cell phones, across dinner tables, through text and e-mail, and over Zoom and video meetings. There are happy words, sad words, strong words, soft words, and honest words. Let’s make sure there are also encouraging words that bring healing and hope to those around us.