Dear Mr. Elrod,
I forgive you!
My guess is you haven’t had a lot of people tell you that lately. I sure hope I’m wrong. But I truly mean it. I know you don’t need my forgiveness, but I felt the good Lord tugging on my heart to write and tell you. So take it for what it’s worth.
As a Winston-Salem native and Wake Forest grad who lived out his dream playing for the men’s soccer team, dear ole Wake Forest has a sweet place in my heart and life. Wake Forest took me in and took real good care of me. I’m beyond thankful for that. It sounds like they did the same for you. And I bet you’re beyond thankful for that as well. You gave your life. Your time, strength, energy. Absolutely everything you had to the University for a lot of years. Thank you!
Tolerance is not my God and I surely believe in right and wrong. I know you know what you did was wrong. I don’t need to tell you that. I bet you’d say the same. This certainly isn’t some cheesy letter to garner any sort of recognition. It’s sincere. It’s from the heart. I write because recently Jesus has taught me a very real and very hard lesson. It was this: we’re all screwed up sinners, saved by nothing else, except His sweet grace. We’re all capable of anything. We’re infected by sin. And that sin causes men, like you and me, to do things that we wouldn’t normally do. To do things that we will deeply regret.
I don’t want to minimize how this has affected others. It wasn’t fair for the players or coaching staff. It wasn’t fair for the University or city. It wasn’t fair for everyone involved. But I want to speak to you right now, Mr. Elrod.
Someone told me recently, “we should never judge someone by their lowest moments.” I bet this incident was one of your lowest. And unfortunately, it just so happened to be made public. For the whole world to see. As a professional athlete, I understand. I know what it’s like to be in the spotlight. For good and bad reasons. I know what it’s like for folks to thrash you apart on the world wide web. Takes a real pin-head to tear someone down online. But hey, again, they’re just like us, screwed up!
You made a mistake. I’ve sure had my fair share of huge blunders. We all have. Dawgon right, we all have. I don’t excuse anything you did. I don’t excuse anything I’ve ever done. I just know that there’s only been one perfect person to have ever lived. Jesus. I also know that He forgives you.
This incident doesn’t define you.
Others may think it does. But they ain’t God. And they surely don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s always hardest to forgive ourselves. I pray that you can forgive yourself and move on. I pray that God gives you peace and that through this valley you experience his love, grace, mercy and presence like never before.
It doesn’t matter what I say. Or what anybody else says. It only matters what He says. And He loves you so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to be tortured and Crucified for you, me, and everybody in all creation!
That’s some Good News!
God bless you and your family, Mr. Elrod!