I don’t really follow basketball. As such, I really had no idea who Monty Williams was when I saw this headline: Monty Williams Calls For Forgiveness In Powerful Speech At Wife’s Memorial Service. But it’s early, I’m bored and forgiveness isn’t a theme that usually gets much press on Deadspin, so I clicked over to read the article.

It turns out that Monty is a coach for the Thunder and his wife was killed in a horrific car accident last week when another driver hit her while driving 92 mph in a 45 zone. It’s the sort of shocking, sad loss that would push most of us to a place of bitterness and anger. That’s what makes the words Williams spoke during the eulogy even more amazing.

God will work this out. My wife is in heaven. God loves us. God is love. And when we walk away from this place today, let’s celebrate. Because my wife is where we all need to be. And I’m envious of that. But I got five crumb-snatchers I’ve got to deal with. I love you guys for taking time out of your day to celebrate my wife. We didn’t lose her. When you lose something you can’t find it. I know exactly where my wife is.

That right there is the real deal. What an incredible dose of perspective for all of us. He went on to talk about how his family had already forgiven the driver of the other car and asked everyone to pray for them too as they also grieved.

So often in youth ministry I feel like we’re trying to encourage students to have an eternal perspective about everything they do. Coach Williams models the exact perspective that I’m trying to cultivate in myself and the students I lead. May we all continue to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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