Part of My Book Has Been Haunting Me
Since the news broke about the horrific events that have occurred here at Penn State, I have been haunted by one passage I included in my book. In it, I discuss the role of a college minister as shepherd. I quote, with approval, the words of Joe Paterno in Sports Illustrated. Here’s that passage:
“Joe Paterno has recorded the most wins of any college football coach of all time; he’s also a man of deeply held convictions. From the beginning of his tenure at Penn State, he has sought to cultivate not just football players, but men. He’s made it clear that Penn State Football will do things the right way, will strive for “success with honor.” In a profile in Sports Illustrated, Paterno offered some advice to his son Jay, who is an assistant coach. It’s also a good piece of advice for campus ministers:
Every player we have, someone—maybe a parent, a grandparent, someone—poured their life and soul into that young man. They are handing that young man off to us. They are giving us their treasure, and it’s our job to make sure we give them back that young man intact and ready to face the world. (Joe Paosnanski, “Joe Paterno Top of the World, Pa!” Sports Illustrated, October 26, 2009)
In campus ministry…reminders like this one that I’m being entrusted with someone’s treasure are helpful. It’s an important perspective to maintain.”
Obviously, I wish that the same concern had been shown for the victims. They were someone’s treasure too. Beyond heartbreaking.