Floyd Little caught me on Saturday evening as I was watching the NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Sandwiched between the great Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, he outshone them all. Why? Because he did what neither of them did. He did not preach about his own success. He did not tout his own greatness. He did not speak about the yards gained and the battles won on the football field. He spoke primarily about his family. His faith and his love of children. This was a man who understood that success was not about “Buck up and Get ‘er done.” No, his was a life defined by the loss of his brothers, the faith of his sisters, and the blessing of his own children.
We believe that life is not about Joel Osteen and the better life now. We know that the 7 secrets to a successful life kill us. But people like Floyd Little show us that it is loss and grief and suffering that allow us to know grace. As I listened to Floyd, I could not help but want to get to know him more. Because he was not self-aggrandizing but equally not debasing–he was a person. Just a normal guy marred by immorality. He just had faith. It was obviously given to him. It was obvious that it was not based on his will but on brokenness. His was the faith of a man who had lived a life not of purity, but of forgiveness.