January 6, 2016

I have forgotten the man’s name who told this story on a Dr. James Dobson broadcast back in the 80’s. After hearing it on air, I ordered the cassettes but I can’t find them either. The young man was an all state athlete in the State of Georgia but between high school a promising college career, he started hanging out with the wrong crowd. One night they planned the robbery of a liquor store: in advance, they set this young man up as the fall guy. He was the driver of the get a way car. He sits in the car with engine running, they go in and rob the store plus they murder the clerk behind the counter. With in a couple of weeks, they are all picked up and they all have the same story–the driver was the trigger man. This young man spends the next 20 years or so in a Georgia Correctional Facility for a murder he did not commit.

In memory serves me correctly, he was converted to Christ while in prison and paroled around age 40 with one condition: he had to work 5 years at a Georgia Institution for boys. An orphanage for boys more or less. He served as the coach.

There was one child in the facility that had outstanding ability and the coach picked up on it right away. The kid was a sprinter and he had speed to burn. These kids were allowed to compete in the Georgia High School state championship and the coach was so excited about the prospect of carrying Mike to the State Finals.

At this point, the coach ran into a problem; the state tournament was on a Thursday which was parent day at the facility. This happens after the coach [x-con] has been there three or four years so he knows which parents show up and which one’s don’t.

He asks Mike about going with him to the State Track meet and Mike says emphatically, “Coach, I can’t go on Thursday. It is visitation day and my mother has promised to come see me.” The coach tried everything but Mike would not budge. Finally in frustration, the coach said, “Mike, I’m going to tell you the truth. Your sorry mother is not coming next Thursday or the Thursday after that…she is not coming period and you know it.”

These words of pure truth crushed Mike’s hope, he dropped his heard and went to the locker room to change. Never ran track again and never spoke to the coach. The coach final remarks went something like this: “There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret telling Mike the ugly truth.”


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