I’m a person of faith, though there have been times I’ve felt disconnected from God. Like when injuries threatened to derail my NFL career. I’d remember what my grandma told me when she was dragging me to church as a kid back in Wilmington, Delaware. “The good Lord speaks to all of us, Devon, but you’re never going to hear him if you don’t open your ears and listen.”
I grew up and joined a church of my own, and while I felt closer to God, it still seemed as if I was doing all the talking. I tried not to take it personally— until Leah, my sweet four-year-old daughter, got sick with cancer. I really needed to hear directly from him then.
Leah had to undergo four grueling rounds of a combined radiation/chemo treatment. People around the world, moved by the story of a pro football player fighting to help his critically ill daughter, were praying for her. It wasn’t enough. The doctors said she needed surgery. Our last best hope. The night before her operation, I’d never seen her so scared. I couldn’t comfort her. I was as scared as she was.
“Are they going to cut me with a real knife?” she asked, her voice trembling.
God, what do I tell her? What do I say to ease her fear?
I didn’t expect an answer, not like my grandma used to get. To hear her tell it, the Almighty talked to her in a booming Old Testament voice, one there was no mistaking.