Derek Redmond was an international track-and-field star with three gold medals to his name. But he’s best known for a race he didn’t win. In the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, Derek Redmond was favored to win the 400-meters, having set the world record in the event a few years before. But halfway through the race, he suffered a severe pulled hamstring and stumbled to the track. By the time he got back to his feet, the race was over. Although devastated, Redmond staggered toward the finish line anyway, brushing away Olympic officials who tried to lead him off the track.
If this were your son, what would you do? Cheer him toward the finish line from your place in the stands? Look on in silence? Or maybe watching the death of your son’s dream would cause you to turn away completely. Derek Redmond’s father did none of these. Instead, he burst from the stands and ran to his son on the track. Then, with his son leaning on his shoulders, they walked together, arm in arm, to the finish line.
One of the tough parts of being a parent is knowing we can’t rescue our children from every difficulty in life. Sometimes the pain they suffer has to be their own. In those times, what we can do is walk with them in their suffering and, with God’s grace, see them through it. Even if the burden is theirs to carry, they don’t have to face it alone.
For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, at JimDalyBlog.com.