Eugene Cho

ted williams: finding your true voice

Have you heard the story of Ted Williams?

It’s likely that you may have heard the story (and voice) of a “homeless” man named Ted Williams. His voice is indeed amazing but the story behind his voice, truly shines.  Most will focus their attention on the voice and the feel good story of second chances but if we listen to his story – in his own words – we’ll hear the story of redemption and reconciliation and…

a God who is still speaking to the world today.

While his story is unique, it also has a common thread that can be understood by all: we’ve all been down and out in some way or another.

  • A few years ago, he was strung out on drugs & alcohol, barely surviving, and living out on the streets.
  • Even a few days ago, he was homeless and simply looking for a break.

And then this video below was filmed this week. It was uploaded on January 3 and at the time this post got published, it was viewed 8,747,752 times and counting:

You’ve heard his voice…

Now, listen to his story…in his own words.

Just take 6 minutes to watch this video. It’s pretty amazing. In his own words, he speaks of 2010 – while perceived by most as another wasted year –  as the most significant year of his life as he encountered God in his life.

Stories of redemption & encountering God never grow old.

They are the most beautiful stories.

I love this story – maybe even more than the story of Susan Boyle – because it gives a face and a story to many who are homeless.

So many nuggets of wisdom and life lessons, no?

We’re cruel and unfair when we paint everyone who are down and out with a broad stroke or description of ‘homeless.’

We all have a story and a voice.

We are created in the image of God. We are loved by God. This – in essence – is the definition of human dignity. Indeed, the Gospel matters…

Everyone needs a break. 2 million?

And as we feel all tingly and mushy inside, know this:

When the frenzy dies down, we need to remember that there are anywhere from 672,000 to 2 million people that are homeless in America that are looking for 2nd chances.

They, too, have stories and voices.

How about you? What’s your takeaway from this story?


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13 Responses

  1. KH says:

    no words…just feelings…and words don’t work!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho. Eugene Cho said: Ted Williams: His VOICE is amazing. But the STORY behind his voice…is life changing. – http://bit.ly/hwQhn1 […]

  3. brian says:

    ha! updated my blog and then checked twitter and found out we were on the same brainwave snd had almost identical posts. funny 🙂

  4. Garry says:

    What an inspiration to all!! Wishing him the best of luck!!

  5. Pat Pope says:

    I saw him on the Today Show this morning and I cried as I listened to him and saw how he seemed to really impact Matt Lauer. He talked of what has changed in him is that now he doesn’t miss an opportunity to talk to God and to thank Him, whereas before, he took so much for granted. I wish him all the best!

  6. Tim Morey says:

    Great piece Eugene. Thanks for posting –

  7. Deb says:

    Love this story! Love your post. Thanks for the reminder that he is just one of many. My take away:how many people drove by this guy with his sign? All it took was one guy to stop and ask him about his story. What can I do as one person?

  8. Peter Jang says:

    What an encouragement and challenge to start 2011!

  9. What a cool story…loved the video of him reuniting with his mother, as well.

  10. Rosie says:

    God is Awesome!
    It’s expected that people will criticize, but how often doesn’t God come knocking at our own door and we don’t let him in. God’s always on time!!

  11. Elvin says:

    It had to be a**holes who called him a phony and looked at his previous history. That shouldn’t matter. As a 15 year old boy, that is an inspiration for me to pursue my dreams and it definitely brought a tear in my eye. Congrats Ted, you deserve it.

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

To support both the equality of women and the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but I know we're not alone. May we press on. And may we lead with hope.

I'm at the Women's March in Seattle to show my solidarity with my wife, my mothers, my daughters, and the female congregants of my church. I'm also here to model for my son what we believe in our home. Many people have already expressed their disappointment, dismay, and disgust with my decision. Such is life. We will always disappoint someone. And that's also a lot of words that begin with "d." I'm here not because I agree or disagree with every single statement or sign at this march (although I really liked this one) but because as a Christian, I believe in the fundamental truth that women are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. They are to be valued, heard, and respected.

And because I believe we can't be a flourishing society without the flourishing of women. And because the Church cannot be the Church without the gifts and voices of women. All the gifts of women.

And in doing so, may we together honor the sanctity of life - from womb to tomb. Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards

my tweets

  • Really loved this sign from the women's march from one of our church congregants. Counter cultural. Subversive. L… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… || 4 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn can be lonely but we're not alone. Lead with hope: instagram.com/p/BPjMGTOhMjL/ || 5 hours ago
  • To support both the equality of women & the dignity of the unborn feels like a very lonely place to be but we're not alone. May we press on. || 8 hours ago
  • Going to the Women's March in Seattle bc as a Christian, I believe women are fearfully and wonderfully made and are to be heard & respected. || 11 hours ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 12 hours ago
  • God bless America...so that we may be a blessing to the hurting, poor, vulnerable, immigrants, oppressed, marginalized. God bless America. || 1 day ago

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