Changing A Life

The Ted Williams Story

By now you’ve heard the story. It was featured on AllAccess, then picked up by all the local media in Columbus, Ohio, and made network national newscasts last night.

It’s an amazing story, because of Ted’s amazing voice.


But what I want to talk to you about today is not Ted’s voice or talent.

I want to talk to you about how this story got on WNCI and then the NBC Nightly News.

It happened because a Columbus Dispatch reporter took the risk of actually looking at, and then interacting with, a homeless man.

A human being begging for your spare change.

How many times have we seen them, standing at highway exit ramps, or 4-way stop light intersections in our towns?

And how many times have we looked the other way, kept our window up, locked our door, turned up the radio, and done everything in our power to ignore them.


We’re scared?

We just don’t want to acknowledge the shattered life standing next to our car because we don’t want to feel any responsibility, any burden to actually care?

I don’t know the answer, but hats off to the newspaper reporter who looked at this man, read his sign, and then took the risk of making a human connection with the person on the other side of the door.

A person who was homeless, unbathed, unkempt, holding a hand-lettered cardboard sign, hollowed eyes showing his desperation and hunger.

That’s what made this story possible.

That’s what led to Ted getting real job offers and real hope of leaving homelessness behind him forever.

There are stories like this one in your city. Not as perfectly written for radio as Ted’s, but stories that will move your listeners to tears, and even better, to action — to helping other human beings in need.

I’ve mentioned this before, because it’s an issue in my life. I’m not preaching to anyone but myself, so if it feels otherwise, I apologize.

This story made it onto WNCI and national newscasts because someone actually listened.

Someone actually cared.

Someone looked at a nameless, hopeless, homeless beggar and saw instead, a man.