By Dave Andrusko
Funny how, if you have good enough peripheral vision (or just good luck), you’ll find almost everything has a life-affirming connection.
Most of our NRL News Today readers will remember the name Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy, college football’s highest award, in 2007. He is the plain-spoken, incredibly handsome, unabashedly pro-life, Spirit-filled young man who drew massive pro-abortion ire.
For what? For the 30-second “Celebrate family, Celebrate life,” ad that starred Tim and his mother, Pam that aired during the 2010 Super Bowl.
As you may remember when the much anticipated advertisement aired, the word “abortion” was never used. Instead Mrs. Tebow and Tim playfully horsed around while making a serious point about Tim, whom Pam Tebow called her “miracle baby.” The pregnancy had been difficult from the beginning. A doctor recommended an abortion, which the Tebows rejected.
I ran across a brief mention of Tim today. (Remember, playing for the University of Florida, he was among the most storied college quarterbacks of all time.)
His old college coach, Urban Meyer, is now the coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. He asked Tim to come by to give his team a pep talk. Why?
Ohio State plays Alabama, the winner of which will play for the national championship. Just so happens that Tim was the quarterback in 2008 when Florida defeated Alabama!
Then a link to a far more important story that actually ran last week. His Tim Tebow Foundation announced “that the Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City, Philippines, has received its official operating license and opened its doors this week.” (Tim’s family were missionaries to the Philippines for many years.)
While the official grand opening is not until spring 2015, “in the meantime, the hospital is already addressing children with the most critical orthopedic needs who otherwise would not be able to afford treatment,” according to an announcement from the Foundation.
The hospital will specialize in serving children with such orthopedic conditions as clubfoot, bowed legs, cleft palate, and many other congenital limb abnormalities.
“The opening of the Tebow CURE Hospital is the fulfillment of long-held dreams and many prayers,” said Dale Brantner, President and CEO of CURE International.
We reviewed Tim’s book, “Through My Eyes,” in 2011. I thought I knew his (and his mother’s story). But I didn’t. Not by a long shot.
Pam Tebow’s pregnancy was difficult from the beginning, characterized by pain and bleeding. “A number of times they were certain they had lost me,” Tim wrote. His parents went to the best doctor in their area of the Philippines who told his mother in a slow monotone that “An abortion is the only way to save your life.”
Tim writes, “According to [the doctor], the ‘mass of fetal tissue’ or ‘tumor’—me—had to go.”
A deeply devout couple, the Tebows left “shocked and a bit numb, but resolute in what course they would take.” Pam Tebow experienced “an unexpected and indescribable peace. God’s peace…”
“Miraculously” the bleeding subsequently subsided, meaning they could fly to Manila. When Tim was delivered he was “followed immediately by a blood clot that was bigger than I was.”
The attending physician told his dad, “Mr. Tebow, your child is a miracle baby. I can’t explain how it happened, but despite all odds, he beat them. Only a small part of the placenta was attached, but it was just enough to keep your baby nourished all these months.”
But they were not out of the woods—neither Pam nor Tim.
“Mom had surgery when I was a week old, and she finally became to recover after the health challenges of many months. The doctor told my parents that if we had not come to Manila, Mom probably would not have survived my birth.”
Tim added, “My mom, dad, and family were so grateful for my save arrival and thanked the Lord for His protection of both my mom and me.”
No one is going to confuse Tim and his co-author Nathan Whitaker with Proust. The style is as plainspoken and unadorned as Tim is. And just as enjoyable.
During the Super bowl hubbub, Tim unobtrusively espoused his pro-life principles. One newspaper account I read at the time is representative: “Tebow said he has deep convictions on the abortion issue because of his mother’s story.”
Tebow then said, “I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe.”
The entire Tebow family are remarkable, and the way they live out their pro-life convictions is an inspiration. The book is “Through My Eyes.”