By Dave Andrusko
Can it be five years since the media storm over the Tim Tebow ad that was to air on the Super Bowl? Many of you remember the manufactured hysteria over one 30-second commercial nobody had yet seen.
Oh, the predictions. We were told Focus on the Family’s “Celebrate family, celebrate life” commercial would be “divisive” and would tackle a “controversial” topic. And, of course, critics sharpened their knives as they intolerantly attack Focus on the Family for its alleged “intolerance.”
The usual “Women’s groups” coordinated an attack via the Women’s Media Center and tried to coerce CBS into not running the ad none of them had yet seen. To its credit, CBS refused to buckle.
As we wrote at the time, the word “abortion” never appeared. Instead Tim (a Heisman Award winning quarterback for the University of Florida) and his mother, Pam, playfully horsed around while making a serious point about Tim, whom Mrs. Tebow called her “miracle baby.”
Pam Tebow says, “He almost didn’t make it into this world. I remember so many times when I almost lost him. [Doctors recommended that she abort Tim.]
“It was so hard. Well he’s all grown up now, and I still worry about his health [a lighthearted reference to being crushed by a 300 pound lineman]. Everybody treats him like he’s different, but to me, he’s just my baby. He’s my Timmy, and I love him.”
Well, an article in this month’s “Thriving Family” magazine, reposted by Focus on the Family, tells us one part of the rest of the story. “A Super Bowl blessing” tells the story of Susan Wood and how that ad spoke to her heart at just the right moment.
Earlier in the morning the day of the 2010 Super Bowl, Wood told her boyfriend she was pregnant. He had one only suggestion: get an abortion. She went to the Super Bowl party alone. And that’s where the story really takes an amazing turn.
“Literally [Tebow was] the only college player in the entire country I could have named or recognized,” she told Thomas Jeffries. (She’d happened to see a special on Tim while folding laundry.)
When the commercial played the night of February 7, 2010, the party fell silent. Jeffries writes
Instead of the strident anti-abortion ad that Susan, her friends and most of America were expecting, they watched a mother’s heartfelt story about the survival of her infant son.
“I wanted to be critical,” Susan says. “I wanted to bash this horrible ‘anti-choice’ commercial. But as we watched, everyone agreed that it was a positive commercial with an encouraging message — not one of judgment or condemnation.”
As other ads aired, Susan kept thinking about the Focus commercial, and she felt a pit in her stomach. She remained at the party, talking and watching the game, but she couldn’t get that ad out of her head.
Jeffries explains that Wood then researched the ad and saw an interview with Pam Tebow. She learned that
Pam had rejected a doctor’s advice to abort her unborn son in the face of medical complications. She watched the commercial again. She felt like it was made just to reach her.
Wood contacted Focus which was extremely helpful to her in a supportive, non-judgmental way. As she thought of what Pam Tebow had said in the interview and the way Focus had responded to her, “it all just spoke to my heart. I made the decision to keep the baby.”
There is no fairy tale ending, at least in a couple of respects. The boyfriend didn’t have a change of heart. He raged and threatened and then “simply checked out.”
And Wood does not pretend to have had an easy time as a single mom, another reason Jeffries story is so powerful.
But all that pales in comparison to Avita Grace, who was born in September 2010. Here’s how Jeffries concludes “A Super Bowl Blessing”:
Avita is 4 now, and she has brought joy, fun and faith to her mother’s life. The little girl loves frilly dresses and bows in her hair, coloring books and talking about Jesus. As a working single mom, Susan now has less money, less sleep, less time, more laundry, more dishes and lots more cleaning. But it’s all drowned out by the limitless love she’s been given.
“I think about the commercial, Tim Tebow and the people from Focus daily,” Susan says. “I am so grateful. If there hadn’t been a Super Bowl commercial, if I hadn’t been at the party, if someone had responded to my email in a different way . . .
“I will never be able to express the gratitude and love that I feel.”
Tip of the hat to Life News.