I don’t waste time pleading with God to make me well …

The manuscript for “Days of Grace: A Memoir” by Arthur Ashe was completed one week before his death.

FAITH & REFLECTION

The manuscript for “Days of Grace: A Memoir” by Arthur Ashe was completed one week before his death. Ashe (1943 – 1993), was a world-class American tennis player, whose list of athletic achievements could fill pages. Impressive!! However, his personal character and spiritual journey was even more impressive.

Ashe was not very fond of Christianity. He was born in a colored neighborhood of segregated Richmond, Virginia. It was often those who called themselves Christians who kept him, because of his color, from playing in many important events in the beginning of his tennis career. He once said, “Jews, much more than Christians, have been kind and helpful, as I have struggled with segregation in tennis.”

However, his strongest competitor in tennis and ultimately his best friend, was Stan Smith, a dedicated follower of Jesus.

Stan’s consistent Christian testimony was so solid that Arthur simply couldn’t ignore it. Arthur stated, “My opponent was Stan Smith, a brilliant tennis player, but an even more impressive human being.”

In one game, Ashe lost to Smith by one questionable point. He could have called for a replay and have an opportunity to win, but he didn’t because Smith claimed he’d legitimately made the point. When asked how he could be so naïve, he replied, “I wouldn’t take just anybody’s word for it, but if Stan Smith says he got to the ball, he got to it. I trust his character.” It was Smith’s solid Christian testimony and integrity that influenced Arthur to accept Jesus as his Savior at a later date.

In 1979 Ashe had a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery. In 1983 he had a second surgery to correct the first one. Plagued by ongoing, inexplicable symptoms, it was discovered that he was HIV-positive. Attending physicians concluded that he’d contracted HIV from blood transfusions received during the second surgery.

He died in February, 1993 from AIDS-related pneumonia.

In “Days of Grace” Ashe wrote, “I don’t waste time pleading with God to make me well…rather, prayer is a medium through which I ask God to show me His will and to give me strength to carry out that will.”

During his illness, Ashe received fan letters from all over the world. One fan asked, “Why does God have to select you for such a bad disease?” Ashe replied, “The world over, 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5, 000 reach a grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi-finals, 2 to the finals… and when I held the world cup, I never asked God, “Why me?”

He post-scripted, “Happiness keeps you Sweet…Trials keep you Strong… Sorrow keeps you Human.”

Impressive!!

 

Just Posted

Stettler secondhand charity looks for new home

Superfluity lease not being renewed; will move by Sept., 2018

First auction of 2018 has solid numbers: auction market

Stettler Auction Mart sees 700 head move through Jan. 9

Lars Callieou to entertain in Halkirk on Feb. 10

Volunteer appreciation supper held on Friday night

Outrage against hunting ‘pretty animals’

But its ok if they are ‘stupid and ugly’

What to do after online accounts are hacked

Facebook, email and other accounts hold vital information

Erskine Professional Motocross Athlete appears in Edmonton

Chad Bauman performs as part of ‘Ground and Gravity’

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Provincial park no more

The province transferred Sylvan Lake Provincial Park to the Town yesterday

Protect pets from canine flu

Sylvan Lake veterinarian spoke to the Sylvan Lake News about the canine flu

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

New County of Stettler reeve, new councillor to go to conference in Maritimes

County of Stettler selling off ATCO trailers from shop site

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.