I entered a computer center on Oct. 21, 2009. The clock was ticking. The computer was slow.
I noticed a man next to me. His work was going smoothly. There was an "hour-glass" turning, round and round on his screen. His computer was fine.
The man and I started talking. He is a historian. He is the cousin of Eldridge Dickey, a man drafted as quarterback with the Oakland Raiders.
"Eldridge Dickey," I asked the man, "Isn't he the first African American quarterback in the NFL?" The cousin answered, "Yes."
Immediately, I requested an interview with the man. After all, his account of the life of Eldridge Dickey should certainly have validity and veracity.
He agreed. That interview is forthcoming.
Now, in preparation for the interview, I did what I always do: research.
I admit that I knew about Eldridge Dickey because one of my associates, who is a former NFL player said that he was a roommate to Dickey when they both played for the Oakland Raiders.
The story has both good and bad episodes. Let's focus on the good.
According to my research, Eldridge Dickey was unique:
"Oakland Raiders made Eldridge Dickey the 25th player selected in the draft and the first black quarterback chosen in the first round..."
In my interview with the cousin of Eldridge Dickey, I want to discover the truth about his life and his career with the Oakland Raiders. I have heard through the years that he was disappointed and maybe angered or hurt about some decisions.
One thing is clear: He never played quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.
A powerful inspiration overcame me after meeting Dickey's cousin in a computer center. Perhaps we should reflect on some past decisions in the Oakland Raiders franchise.
Could it be that we should say, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.?"
Let me share a story with you that was shared by a great minister, years ago.
The minister said that there was a man with a sick child who was expected to die. The man realized that his trespasses somehow affected the situation of the child. The man, knelt down by the hospital bed, and he asked for forgiveness for his transgressions.
This man stayed on his knees for hours until sunrise the next day. When he rose up off his knees and looked over at his child, he noticed the child was better.
So, maybe we should ask for forgiveness if we have transgressed against Oakland Raiders or other NFL players during the history of the NFL.
Is it possible that by expressing our humility, our forgiveness, in both directions: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors, that we will be free to move toward a greater destiny.
Many say that Dickey and others were hurt by the decisions in the past. We can not rewrite the history, but we can FORGIVE.
Why? No doubt that our forgiveness will open the floodgates of heaven, let it rain, and bless us in 2009 and beyond.
Yes, we can...forgive and forge forward toward victory in the memory of Eldridge Dickey, and others.
Maybe the message of our "carrier-pigeon" was SEEK FORGIVENESS, FORGIVE AND FORGE FORWARD.
Finally, what happened to Dickey in his senior years? He became a minister of the Gospel. So, he forgave us and it is well with his soul, and hopefully, our souls.
Selected Data from the career of Eldridge Dickey