Speak Up

by | Apr 30, 2018 | Humility, Love, Pride

Proverbs 31:9 “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (NIV)

His name is James Kennedy but everyone knows him as “Radio,” a name he received because he carried one around.

It was 1964 and Coach Harold Jones-then coach of the junior varsity football team at McCants Junior High School in Anderson, South Carolina, noticed a young boy with a radio in his hand hanging around the football field. Through a tedious process, Jones developed a friendship with him and within a few years Radio was attending T. L. Hanna High School.

In 1996 a sports writer from Charleston, South Carolina put Radio and Coach Jones in the national spotlight with a story in Sports Illustrated, and in 2003 Hollywood released a movie about the pair.

For more than 45 years, Radio has cheered on the football team at T. L. Hannah and is a fixture of the school and town. At 64 years of age, he still comes to school every day, exercises in PE, visits the school nurse for a checkup, attends special education classes and passes out his colored pictures to students.

Coach Jones and Radio travel extensively raising money for the Outdoor Dream Foundation-an organization that grants hunting, fishing and outdoor dreams for young people with life threatening illnesses.

King Lemuel’s mother reminded him one of his kingly duties was speaking up for the poor, helpless and those who couldn’t speak up for themselves. They needed justice.

Coach Jones spoke up for Radio. Then a school did. Now an entire town does. Jesus said we would always have the poor with us. We’ll also have those who can’t speak up for themselves but who deserve our love and often have a better understanding of love than we do.

Our world is full of Radios. The question is how we will respond to them. Will we make fun or turn away out of fear? Will we physically abuse them or put them away in institutions? Or will we be a Coach Jones and recognize them as one of God’s creations, deserving of our love. Remembering that except for God’s grace we might be where they are and that they may very well be angels in disguise.

Prayer: Lord, when we’re tempted to look down on the less fortunate, help us look up for instructions on what we can do.

Martin Wiles mandmwiles@homesc.com
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA


Speak Up